Granville Youth Leadership Council Gives Teens A Voice In Decision-Making

-information courtesy of Granville County Public Information Officer Terry Hobgood

The Granville County Youth Leadership Council provides high school students a voice in local government’s decision-making processes while promoting civic engagement and responsibility.

The Council is a platform that empowers young minds to actively participate in decision-making processes, fostering a sense of responsibility and commitment to community development, according to a press statement from Granville County Public Information Officer Terry Hobgood. Members are representatives of youth civic engagement, and also can bring about change by bringing new ideas and opportunities to the community.

The purpose of the council is to make sure youth in the community have a voice, but more importantly, that  their voices are heard, recognized and valued. Through participation in the council, the youth will gain leadership skills  through their service on selected county boards, outreach, initiatives and youth-led projects.

This year’s new members to the council are:

  • Ana Black, District 4;
  • Josef Black, District 4;
  • Claire Glavin, District 7;
  • Jacquelin  Jose, District 4;
  • Kaylee Overby, District 5;
  • Dylan Roseman, District 5;
  • Nathanael Royster, District 7


The new class joins the following members already serving on the council:

  • Jermaine Puryear, Jr., Chair, Board Liaison, District 3 
  • Elaina Eley, Vice Chair, Board Liaison, District 6
  • Amber Necessary, Secretary, Board Liaison, District 6 
  • Jaden Easow, Treasurer, Board Liaison, District 6 
  • Iesha Landis, Social Events Chair, Board Liaison, District 6 
  • Cassie Peele, Media and Public Relations Chair, Board Liaison, District 2 
  • Vashti Pearson, Social Media/Content Creator, Board Liaison, District 5 
  • Asia Abdul-Haqq, Board Liaison, District 5 
  • Joydan Johnson, Board Liaison, District 6 

The council had a strategic planning session retreat in November and worked to plan future initiatives, including launching a Teen Clothing Closet, sponsoring a Teen Night and developing a mental health proposal for teens.

Learn more about the Council and their activities, visit

TownTalk: December Events In Granville County

There are plenty of upcoming activities in Granville County to make even those Scrooges or Grinches get in the holiday spirit.

Granville Tourism Director Angela Allen joined WIZS’s own Bill Harris on Wednesday’s TownTalk to talk about upcoming Christmas parades, drive-thru events and more.

The Granville Christmas Farm stows all its scary decorations in favor of twinkling holiday lights and scenery on weekends in December, Allen said. After Dec. 18, however, the drive-thru display will be open during the week as well.

Check out a live performance of Granville County-based group The Barefoot Movement, which will be at The Orpheum on Saturday evening, Dec. 2. Noah Wall and Tommy Norris will kick off their holiday tour with a local concert. But tickets are going fast, so check out the Orpheum’s website soon to secure your seat.

The musical duo “Little Red Birds” performs Friday, Dec. 8 at The Orpheum after the city’s Lighting of the Greens and Christmas parade.  Sip hot cocoa cocktails as you enjoy the music. Main Street will be open for a variety of activities – think inflatables, food trucks, vendors, live music – beginning at 4 p.m. on the 8th, followed by the Lighting of the Greens at 6:45 p.m. and then the parade at 7 p.m.

The next day, Saturday, Dec. 9, come back to downtown Oxford for “Jingle and Mingle.” Downtown merchants will be open for shoppers and browsers alike during normal business hours.

The flurry of activities begin this weekend across Granville County, including a tree-lighting ceremony Friday at 7 p.m. in Creedmoor and then one town over – Butner – beginning at 5:30 p.m. hosts its annual “Christmas in the Park.”

The next day, you can check out Creedmoor’s Christmas parade at 11 a.m. and then head over to Central Avenue in Butner to catch that town’s Christmas parade that begins at 2 p.m.

The Orpheum transforms from concert venue on Saturday to holiday gala on Sunday evening. Purchase tickets ($100 each) online at The Orpheum or stop by The Hub on Main. It’s black tie-optional and includes a meal, beverages and live music.

Saturday and Sunday at HighRock Farms on 2317 Enon Rd. features a date with Santa – breakfast, in fact. Make reservations at

The Stem Ruritan Club is hosting the Stem Jingle Jangle at the club on Highway 75 from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Check out lots of local vendors and visit with Santa.

The Barn at Vino in Stem will host Cocoa with Santa on Sunday, Dec. 3 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. There will be vendors, food trucks and more on site. Reserve a photo session with Santa for $20 per child ($5 for each additional child) on Eventbrite or on The Barn at Vino’s Facebook page.

Carlee Farm in Stem will host its holiday marketplace again this year on Saturday, Dec. 9 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Stop in for shopping and find plenty of local vendors on hand. Carlee Farm is located at 1003 Carlee Farm Rd.

If you need to take a break from the commercial side of the Christmas holiday, pack the kids in the car and go “Back to Bethlehem,” courtesy of Delrayno Baptist Church in Oxford. The drive-thru Nativity is a favorite event that recreates Bethlehem across a variety of scenes that are set up in the church parking lot and drive. The drive-thru Nativity will be held Dec. 9, 10 and 11 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. There is no charge for admission, but donations are accepted.



VGCC Community Band Presents Holiday Concert Dec. 11 At McGregor Hall

-information courtesy of VGCC Public Information Officer Courtney Cissel


On Monday, December 11, the VGCC Community Band will present its annual Holiday Concert at McGregor Hall Performing Arts Center in downtown Henderson. The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. and will last approximately one hour. There is no charge for admission.


The public is invited to this performance, which will feature a variety of seasonal music and non-holiday favorites. Selections will include patriotic music, a medley influenced by the popular sea shanty genre, and holiday songs ranging from “Mary, Did You Know?” to “Santa at the Symphony.”


“I always see the VGCC Community Band concert as the start of my holidays,” said Betsy Henderson, department chair of Fine Arts and Humanities for Vance-Granville Community College. “It’s a great tradition for the whole family! You’ll be entertained with some classic holiday music, and your spirits will be lifted.”

Directed by Brian D. Miller of Louisburg, the VGCC Community Band is comprised of both VGCC students and non-student adult community members. Band members have a wide range of abilities and experience and come from the college’s four-county service area and beyond; some members are from Virginia. Contact Director Miller at to learn more about the band program.



SportsTalk: Adcock Reflects On First Season With Mariners

Ty Adcock never imagined himself as a pitcher.  At South Granville he threw a couple of innings for fun but pitching never really interested him.  He was a catcher and an outfielder.  It wasn’t until his junior year at Elon that a coach noticed his arm strength and felt his talents were better suited on the mound.

In June of last year after a minor league game Adcock got the call to head for Seattle where he would throw his first pitch in the Major Leagues.  “It was a bizarre experience,” Adcock said of receiving the call.  Adcock was a guest on Wednesday’s SportsTalk. “I knew I had what it takes to play in the big leagues,” Adcock continued.  “It doesn’t feel real.  It was everything you dream of as a kid,” Adcock explained about his first game in a Mariners uniform.

He doesn’t remember the name of the first batter he faced from the Miami Marlins but does remember the batter grounded out on the first pitch.  He threw for two innings in that game as a member of the Mariners’ bull pen.

Now that his first season is under his belt he is busy preparing for spring.  He will head to spring training in late January and hopes to be one of the eight pitchers the Mariners keep in their bull pen when the 2024 season starts.  “It’s up to management to see if they feel I’m a good fit for the organization,” Adcock concluded.



Granville Commissioners Makes Changes To Land Development Code

Information courtesy of Granville County Public Information Officer Terry Hobgood

The Granville County Board of Commissioners has approved changes to the county’s Land Development Code that increases minimum lot sizes of “rural cluster” subdivisions.

During its meeting on Monday, Nov 20, the commissioners continued a public hearing that had begun on Oct. 16, according to information from Granville County Public Information Officer Terry Hobgood.

After hearing input from the public, as well as from county planning and zoning staff, the board unanimously approved changes to the plan, which more than doubles the minimum lot size requirement – to 40,000 square feet from the previous 12,000 square feet.

In addition, the minimum lot width is increased to 80 feet from 60 feet and the street and side setbacks are now 50 feet and 15 feet, respectively – up from the previous 25 feet and 7.5 feet).

This change doesn’t affect existing regulations for conventional major subdivisions, family subdivisions or minor subdivisions, which is defined as a subdivision with fewer than 10 lots.

Oxford Fire Dept. Has New Specialized Rescue Equipment For Use In Grain Bins

The Oxford Fire Department is one of only two departments in the state to receive a specialized piece of equipment to assist with grain bin rescues.

Thanks to a partnership with the local Pegram Agency, Nationwide Insurance and the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety, the Oxford fire department now has the equipment should a situation arise that a person is trapped in a grain bin.

The equipment is basically a rescue tube and NECAS also provides training to make sure fire departments know how to use it properly. NECAS representatives traveled to each location with state-of-the-art grain entrapment simulators. The comprehensive training sessions included classroom education and rescue simulations using the entrapment tools, which are loaded onto 20-foot trailers and able to hold about 100 bushels of grain each.

Rural communities continue to face hazards associated with working in and around grain structures. In 2022 alone, there were at least 42 grain entrapments – the highest number in more than a decade – resulting in 15 fatalities. To help prevent tragic accidents and deaths, Nationwide and its partners are providing life-saving grain rescue tubes and training to 60 fire departments across rural America through its 2023 Grain Bin Safety campaign.

Since beginning the Grain Bin Safety campaign in 2014, at least seven fire departments have utilized their rescue tubes and training to successfully rescue entrapped individuals, including a man in Ohio who was trapped up to his armpits back in a March 2023 incident.

“With entrapments and accidents on the rise, it’s as important as ever to be following proper safety precautions before entering a bin,” said Brad Liggett, president of Agribusiness at Nationwide. “


Through collaboration with NECAS, Nationwide and its partners have now supplied grain rescue equipment and training to 332 first responders across 32 states to help prepare them when local grain entrapments occur.

“Grain bin accidents continue to be a critical issue facing the agriculture industry,” said Liggett. “We are proud to have supplied these important resources to 60 more rural fire departments in partnership with the many sponsors involved in our grain bin safety efforts. Thank you to the first responders who play such an important role in supporting the agriculture community.”

Nationwide is continuing to work with partners throughout the year to provide additional grain rescue tubes and training sessions to fire departments in need. To learn how to get involved or sponsor a rescue tube for your local fire department, visit the Partner With Us webpage.

NC Forest Service

Veterans Can Get Seedlings At Discount From N.C. Forest Service

The N.C. Forest Service is offering a 20 percent discount on tree seedling orders placed by active, honorably discharged or retired military personnel during the month of November. Beginning Nov. 13, the discount applies to the first $500 of all new orders, up to a $100 discount.

“Many forestland owners in this state are veterans and current military members who choose country before self to the benefit of us all,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “I am proud to offer a discount that not only shows appreciation for their brave service but that also assists them with keeping forests healthy, another act that provides us all with numerous benefits.”

To be eligible, veterans must show a valid military ID, Department of Defense Form 214/215 or National Guard Bureau Form 22/22A is acceptable. Standard shipping rates still apply. Tree seedlings may be ordered by calling 1-888-NCTREES or by visiting

The N.C. Forest Service Nursery and Tree Improvement program ensures that residents of North Carolina have access to the best native trees and genetics available for use on their land. Current available inventory includes southern yellow pines, native oaks and hardwoods, native understory grasses and Christmas tree species. For a complete list of available species and pricing, visit

NC State Board of Elections

State Elections Officials Want Input On New Voter Photo ID Rule

Now that voters have had a chance – or two – to cast their ballots in municipal elections, the N.C. State Board of Elections wants to hear comments about the new photo ID requirement. A public comment period opened today and runs through Jan. 16, 2024 to allow the public to comment on the rule, which the General Assembly passed into law in 2018.

There are several ways to send comments:

An in-person public hearing will be held on Dec. 13, 2023 at 11 a.m. State Board of Elections Office on the Third Floor of the Dobbs Building at 430 N. Salisbury St., Raleigh, NC 27603.

N.C. Rep. Frank Sossamon Invites Community To Mental Health Forums Nov. 28, 30

Mental health and access to quality care for substance use disorders are buzz phrases that continue to capture the attention of government leaders, medical professionals and the community. A couple of forums are scheduled for later this month in Vance and Granville counties, and N.C. Rep. Frank Sossamon invites interested individuals to come out to learn more.

Working together with Granville-Vance Public Health and Vaya Health representatives, Sossamon said the programs offer residents a chance to gain insight into current conditions in the two counties with regard to mental health and substance use disorders.

In addition learning just what the two topics encompass, there will be two panel discussions – one on youth mental health and one on substance use disorder and addiction, according to a press statement issued from Sossamon spokesperson Clai Keel.

Providers also will be on hand to share information about available resources.

The Vance County forum will be held Tuesday, Nov. 28 at 6 p.m. at the Spring Street Missionary Baptist Church, 511 Orange St., Henderson.

The Granville County forum will be held Thursday, Nov. 30 at 6 p.m. at Cornerstone Christian Community Church, 3237 Knotts Grove Rd., Oxford.

Provider booths will include those that specialize in medications for Opioid Use Disorder (e.g., Buprenorphine, Methadone), individual and family counseling, medication management, crisis management, intensive outpatient services, and residential treatment.

A wide range of topics will be covered, addressing crucial issues such as suicide prevention, intellectual and developmental disabilities, crisis events, anxiety management, substance use disorder and recovery, depression treatment, addiction recovery, and primary care services. The forums aim to empower attendees with approachable access points for seeking care and support.

“Representative Sossamon is dedicated to fostering an environment where residents can discuss their concerns, learn from experts in the field, and discover local resources that can make a difference in their lives,” the statement read. “These forums will be invaluable for individuals and families seeking guidance and support in the areas of mental health and substance use disorder.”

NC Forest Service

Greg Hicks New Assistant Commissioner of N.C. Forest Service

A Granville County resident who has worked with the N.C. Forest Service for more than 20 years has been named its assistant commissioner.

N.C. Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said the promotion of Greg Hicks was effective Nov. 1.

Hicks had been assistant commissioner overseeing operations at the forest service. He replaces Scott Bissette, who is retiring. “I am always pleased to have well-qualified and dedicated staff members step into new leadership roles at the department,” Troxler said. “Hicks has been employed with the N.C. Forest Service for more than two decades serving in nine different roles and in that time has worked at the district, regional and central office levels. I am confident in his ability to understand the many roles of the N.C. Forest Service and build on the lifelong relationships he has made as a career employee.”

Hicks received a Bachelor of Science in Forest Management from the College of Forest Resources at N.C. State University in 1998 and began his career with the forest service in 1999. In his first role, he was based in New Bern and assisted with the four counties that had been heavily impacted by Hurricane Fran. He also has worked as a service forester, an assistant district forester, assistant regional forester, fire chief and assistant state forester.