Distinguished Alumni Award Due To VGCC Foundation Board By Aug. 31

The Vance-Granville Community College Foundation board is seeking nominations for its third annual Distinguished Alumni award. Nominations are due by Aug. 31.

Throughout its 55-year history, VGCC has served the citizens of Vance, Granville, Franklin and Warren counties, preparing them for careers and further secondary education in dozens of certificate and curriculum programs.

Many alumni of VGCC have gone on to make significant impact in their communities and careers. Two years ago, the Vance-Granville Community College Foundation began recognizing one outstanding VGCC alumnus each year with the Distinguished Alumni Award. The Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes and honors outstanding alumni who have made significant contributions to their community, college or career. Mara Shelton was the 2022 recipient; Dr. Priscilla Chavis-Lockley was honored in 2023.

Alumni who have completed a diploma or degree program at VGCC are eligible for the award. Current VGCC Foundation Board members are not eligible. Selection will be based on the following criteria:

  • Exhibits outstanding leadership and character
  • Achieved significant accomplishments in career area
  • Exhibits outstanding service to the community
  • Supports VGCC in some capacity

Visit www.vgcc.edu/foundation to complete the nomination form or request one via email at foundation@vgcc.edu. Please note that nominees remain nominated for three years after the receipt of their nomination.

The award will be presented during the annual the VGCC Foundation Scholarship Awards Luncheon on Sept. 26.

Granville County Names Stacy Hicks To Lead 911 Emergency Communications Dept.

– information courtesy of Granville County Public Information Officer Terry Hobgood

Stacy Hicks has been appointed to lead Granville County’s 911 Emergency Communications Department. Hicks joined Granville County government in 2006 as a telecommunicator and has held a variety of positions in the department over the past 18 years.

“I’m honored to have been selected as Granville County’s 911 Emergency Communications Director,” said Hicks.  “The eighteen years I have spent serving the citizens of Granville County has only reinforced how critical the 911 center is for the safety of our community,” she said in a press release issued Thursday.

Since joining the county as a telecommunicator, Hicks has progressed through the Emergency Communications ranks serving as a Telecommunication Supervisor, Emergency Medical Dispatch Coordinator, Training & Quality Assurance Coordinator and Operations Manager.  Hicks most recently served as the Interim 911 Emergency Communications Director.

“While running a 24/7 public safety operation is challenging, I’m confident in our staff’s training and abilities. We hope all citizens and visitors to our county have peace of mind that when they are dealing with an emergency that a calm and professional voice will answer when they call 911,” Hicks said.

Hicks holds an Associates degree in Business Administration from Vance-Granville Community College and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from UNC-Greensboro. She is currently enrolled in the Master’s of Public Administration program at East Carolina University.

Hicks has received numerous national and  state certifications including the National Emergency Number Association Emergency Number Professional,  Advanced Level Emergency Medical Dispatch Quality, Emergency Fire Dispatch Quality, Association of Public  Safety Communicators Communications Training Officer, Federal Emergency Management Agency National  Incident Management System Telecommunicator Emergency Response Taskforce, North Carolina Division of  Criminal Information Operations, and the National Association of Counties Performance Leader Master  Certificate.

The 911 Emergency Communications Center is located in the Granville County Law Enforcement Center at 525 New Commerce Dr. in Oxford.

Triangle North Business Park Among Top 15 In State For Economic Development Prospects

Granville County’s Triangle North Business Park has been included among the top 15 locations in the state best positioned to successfully serve major advanced manufacturing projects as part of the state’s Selectsite Readiness Program.

The SRP was created by the General Assembly in 2023 to support the development of sites that will increase the  state’s competitiveness for new or expanded major manufacturing projects in key industries, according to information from Granville County Public Information Officer Terry Hobgood.

The Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina contracted with Site Selection Group, a national site selection firm, and Thomas & Hutton, a full-service engineering and design firm, to evaluate sites across North Carolina to determine those best positioned to serve potential advanced manufacturing  projects.

Triangle North Granville was submitted and approved from among 60 sites that were being considered using criteria including technical/engineering assessments, evaluation of workforce availability, site development costs and overall operating costs.

“Having Granville County and Triangle North recognized by EDPNC as a top fifteen site for economic development is a huge win for our community,” said Tim Karan, chair of the Granville County Board of Commissioners. “Granville County is, and will remain, a top choice for industries seeking to locate or expand in  North Carolina. Being added to the SRP shows the effects of Granville County’s investment in Triangle North to enhance thoughtful and desirable economic development opportunities for our citizens.”

In recent months, Granville County has begun to install water and sewer infrastructure to make Triangle North more desirable to industrial development and has entered into a contract with Portman Industrial, LLC for the sale of 127.16 acres in Triangle North. Portman plans to construct buildings totaling 940,000 square feet, which will be built to accommodate targeted industries that will bring higher tax values and higher paying jobs to the county. Portman Industrial plans to complete the construction of both buildings by early 2026. Vance-Granville Community College is also moving forward with plans to construct an Advanced Manufacturing Center at Triangle North.

The fifteen sites added to the North Carolina SRP are:

  • Triangle North Granville Business Park – Granville County
  • Claremont International Rail Park – Catawba County
  • Triangle Innovation Point West – Chatham County
  • Reedy Fork Industrial Site – Guilford County
  • Crown Industrial Site – Guilford County
  • US 301 Industrial Site – Halifax County
  • Ferncliff Park – Henderson County
  • North Carolina Global TransPark North Site – Lenoir County
  • Holly Shelter Business Park – New Hanover County
  • Farmville Corporate Park – Pitt County
  • Energy Way Industrial Park – Richmond County
  • Expressway Commerce Park @ Monroe South – Union County
  • Camp Helix – Wake County
  • ParkEast Ivey Site – Wayne County
  • Carolinian Innovation Park – Wilson County

For more information about the SRP, read the full report at the EDPNC website https://edpnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/07/SRP-Report-and-Cover-Letter-FINAL-07.01.2024.pdf.


VGCC Hitting The Road To Bring Enrollment Process To Prospective Students

– information courtesy of VGCC Public Information Officer Courtney Cissel

You’ve got ambitions, and Vance-Granville Community College is here to help you reach those goals you’ve set for yourself. VGCC will host several Enrollment Days in July, empowering prospective students to succeed during the upcoming semester and beyond.

College representatives are taking their services out into the community to make enrolling as convenient as possible for potential learners, according to information from VGCC Public Information Officer Courtney Cissel.

During each event, VGCC faculty and staff will provide information on the enrollment process, degree options, short-term job training, and student support services, including financial assistance. New financial aid options like the Next NC Scholarship make a quality education more affordable and accessible than ever for many North Carolina learners.

Advisors will also assist students in registering for Fall 2024 classes. The new academic year, which begins on Thursday, August 15, offers the flexibility of both 8-week and 16-week classes, as well as online and hybrid options.

Mark your calendar and join Vance-Granville at one of the Enrollment Days listed below:


Tuesday, July 9, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

South Granville Public Library

1550 South Campus Drive

Creedmoor, NC 27522


Thursday, July 18, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Franklinton Branch Library

9 West Mason Street

Franklinton, NC 27525


Tuesday, July 23, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Richard H. Thornton Library

210 Main Street

Oxford, NC 27565


Contact admissions@vgcc.edu or 252-492-2061 for more information, and find additional enrollment resources at www.vgcc.edu/future-students.

Granville Selects Lindsey Davidson For Newly Created Finance Role

Granville County has named Lindsey Davidson to fill a newly created position of assistant finance director. Davidson begins the job on Monday, July 8, having served 11 years in a variety of roles within finance operations of Granville Health System.

“Lindsey brings an incredible wealth of knowledge, experience, and leadership to our organization,” said  Granville County Finance Director Jennifer Baird. “We are thrilled to have Lindsey join our growing team and we  know this position will be instrumental in ensuring that the tax dollars from our citizens are spent accurately and  with accountability. I am confident that she will serve the Finance Department and Granville County well.”

Since January 2022, Davidson has been controller for Granville Health System, a position which oversees all areas of accounting, preparing annual financial and cost allocation reports, and providing leadership and support to Payroll, Accounts Payable, and Staff Accountants. Prior to her promotion to controller, Davidson worked as a financial analyst, where she collaborated with department heads to develop operating budgets as well as monitoring the health system’s financial position throughout the year. Davidson originally joined Granville Health System as a staff accountant, a position that required reconciling general ledger accounts and bank statements, while also serving as backup to the payroll department.



TownTalk: New Senior Center Planned For Stovall

Over the course of the next 12 months or so, the town of Stovall is going to be the site of some groundbreaking activity – literally.

A new senior center is going up at the corner of Oxford and Main streets, and local officials agree that the proposed location is perfectly placed to get a lot of use by folks who live in the northern part of the county.

The $3 million project has cleared all the initial pre-construction hurdles, and Granville County’s Senior Services Director Kathy May said work should begin this month, with an estimated completion date of August 2025.

May and Stovall Town Commissioner Jeffrey Stovall were guests on Tuesday’s TownTalk, and both agree that the new senior center will change the landscape of the tiny town located just a few miles north of Oxford on Highway 15.

The 4.5 acre-tract is situated across from the Stovall library and medical center and is nestled between Stovall Baptist Church and Town Hall.

And although the idea has been about seven years in the making, May said the timing is just right.

Did you know that Granville County has the largest percentage of people in the 50-59 age range? “I was shocked when I found that out fairly recently,” May said.

Forty percent of the county’s population is 50+, a demographic May and her staff know quite well. Residents over 50 are eligible to participate in senior center programs and events; services like transportation, congregate meals and meal delivery are for residents 60 years and older.

As residents “age in” to the services that the county’s senior center provides, May said it’s important to have a facility that can accommodate multiple activities at once.

The current senior center has been in service since the mid-1990’s, and while it’s a nice building (with original hardwood floors), May said it’s basically a single 1200-square-foot room, with no functional outdoor space other than a gravel parking lot.

The new center, by contrast, will have multiple spaces, a walking path and plenty of room outside that eventually will be home to a couple of pickle ball courts.

“A senior center is like a home away from home,” May explained. It’s a place where senior adults can reconnect with old friends and meet new ones, learn how to stay healthy and it keeps them from sitting at home being lonely, she said. The center staff can help connect them with vital community resources, another bonus.

They eat meals together, play games, attend workshops and take classes through the Creative Lifelong Learning program.

May said she plans to hold some of the CLL classes at the new center in Stovall.

“It’ll be great for seniors and the community as a whole,” Stovall said. “I really do think it’s going to bring the town together. He was elected to the town board of commissioners in the last election, and he said town leaders are working hard to make Stovall a place where young families want to live.

“We’re trending upward,” Stovall said, adding that the senior center creates a “confidence booster for us to continue to do the right thing.”



NCDOT Seeks Input On Granville Roadway Projects

Granville County residents are invited to provide feedback on some highway improvement projects on the NCDOT 2026-2035 State Transportation Improvement Plan.

Comments will be accepted until July 17 at the following link: https://live.metroquestsurvey.com/?u=oq8i8y#!/?p=web&pm=dynamic&popup=IntroPopup

Once the July 17 deadline has passed, NCDOT will release regional project scores and public feedback will be used to determine what amount of available funding will be allocated across North Carolina in the final approved STIP.

Projects included in the draft STIP plan for 2026-2035 for Granville County include:

  • Multi-use recreational trail connecting Durham to the Virginia state line via Butner, Stem, Oxford and Stovall.
  • Lane and shoulder improvements on Old NC 75 at the Federal Correction Complex in Butner.
  • Upgrade and improve traffic flow for the Old NC 75 intersection at Central Avenue/33rd Street in Butner.
  • Pedestrian and bicycle improvements on Central Avenue in Butner.
  • Widen NC Highway 56 to four lanes near the Interstate 85 interchange in Butner from 33rd Street to Holly Drive.
  • Extension of New Commerce Drive to connect to Knotts Grove Road in Oxford.
  • Road safety improvements on NC Highway 96 (Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue) from Industry Drive to 3rd Street in Oxford.
  • Pedestrian recreation trail construction totaling 3.8 miles alongside Lake Devin in Oxford.
  •  Multi-Use Recreational Path totaling 5 miles in Oxford to connect Oxford Park, Hilltop Village Shopping Center, Granville Medical Center and the Masonic Home for Children.
  • Intersection improvements on US Highway 158 in Oxford to include Tabbs Creek Road, on/off-ramps for Interstate 85, US Highway 158 Bypass/Industry Drive, and the Revlon facility entrance.
  • General aviation terminal building construction at the Henderson-Oxford Airport.
  • Modernize roadway and expand shoulder on US Highway 15 in Oxford from the US Highway 158 Bypass intersection to Chewning Road.

For more information about STIP, visit https://www.ncdot.gov/initiatives-policies/Transportation/stip/development/Pages/default.aspx

The Local Skinny! Involving Churches In Mental Health Education

A bill introduced by Rep. Frank Sossamon that would get the faith community invested and involved in tackling mental health issues has passed the House in an almost unanimous vote, leaving passage by the Senate and then the governor’s signature before it can become law.

Sossamon said a pilot program is all set to be rolled out in Vance and Granville counties, which he represents – he’s just waiting for the bill to clear the last two hurdles. If all goes well, the plan is to have a program kickoff in September.

“We’ve got our notebook ready with all the material,” Sossamon said on Monday’s segment of The Local Skinny! “But we can’t do anything until it’s signed into law.”

The bill creates three levels of certification that churches can participate in to help their congregations and the larger community with education about mental health topics and resources available in the area.

More than 30 churches and other faith-based organizations are already signed up, according to information in Sossamon’s monthly newsletter to constituents.

The first level includes an orientation for church leadership to become familiar with resources in the area, Sossamon said, as well as inviting a pastor to preach about a different topic each month. Hearing about, say, depression from the pulpit or in Sunday School classes may help to remove the stigma of mental illness, he said. “It demystifies mental illness…and is also liberating” for someone who may be suffering in silence. It lets them know they can have a conversation with their pastor, or others in the church. “That in itself brings healing,” Sossamon added.

The next level of certification involves a quarterly training on mental health and level 3 involves specialized mental health first aid training and training to recognize someone who may be in crisis or expressing suicidal thoughts.

“We are still in the midst of a mental health crisis in North Carolina,” said Representative Frank Sossamon. “This program provides a unique opportunity to tap into the compassion and dedication of our faith communities to support their fellow citizens. By leveraging the trust and connections that churches have within their communities, we can make a meaningful impact on mental health care and support.”

Pastors in Vance and Granville counties can sign up HERE to get on the official list and receive kickoff information and program updates. If you are outside of Granville County or Vance County and interested in participating in the program, keep on eye on Sossamon’s monthly newsletter to know when the program will expand to other counties.

Sossamon and bill sponsors urge all North Carolinians to contact their state senators and express their support for HB 982. By advocating for this bill, you can help ensure that it becomes law and that our faith communities are empowered to play a vital role in addressing the mental health crisis.

View the bill text here and see its progress here.

To learn more about the faith-based program or to sign up for Sossamon’s monthly newsletter, visit https://lp.constantcontactpages.com/sl/zdADBdY.


NC Forest Service

N.C. Forest Service Set To Begin Annual Tree Seedling Sale

 – information courtesy of the N.C. Forest Service

The N.C. Forest Service will begin accepting orders Monday, July 1, for its annual tree seedling sale. With an average annual production of 16 million seedlings, the NCFS Nursery Program produces enough native and genetically improved tree seedlings to plant roughly 30,000 acres of land, equivalent to nearly 23,000 football fields, each year.

“Having healthy trees and forests provides many benefits to our state, including helping to clean our air and water and sequestering carbon,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “I encourage residents to take advantage of the high-quality trees produced through the North Carolina Forest Service nursery program. Seedlings go quick so you’ll want to purchase them early.”

Quality conifer and hardwood seedlings are available for purchase in a range of quantities. Genetically improved stock is available for Fraser fir, loblolly, longleaf, shortleaf, Eastern white pine and Virginia pine. These seedlings offer better volume growth, tree form, disease resistance, straightness, and other characteristics needed to produce beautiful Christmas trees, healthy woodlands and quality forest products.

Customers interested in learning more about specific tree species and available inventory can speak with NCFS Nursery staff, as well as reference the ordering website or seedling catalogs.

There are several options for purchasing seedlings:

  • Tree seedlings can be ordered from the online seedling store at buynctrees.com.
  • Tree seedlings can also be ordered by phone at 1-888-NCTREES (1-888-628-7337) or 919-731-7988.
  • Tree seedlings can be ordered using the order form in our FY24-25 Nursery Seedling Catalog. Complete the form and mail to Seedling Coordinator, 762 Claridge Nursery Road, Goldsboro, NC 27530.
  • A user-friendly online catalog will soon beavailable at https://www.ncforestservice.gov/nursery/NurseryandTreeImprovement.htm. Seedling catalogs will also be available at local NCFS offices beginning in July. Within the catalog, landowners can find information about the types of tree species, quantities and cost to order. Each species description includes information about ideal planting locations and whether a species is typically used to benefit wildlife, restore forest habitats or as marketable timber.
  • Accepted methods of payment are check, money order, Mastercard and Visa.

Most containerized seedlings are available and used October through March while most bare root seedlings are available and used January through March. Seedling orders can be shipped to one of 13 distribution centers statewide for a small fee or via UPS for a charge. Seedling orders are also available for pickup from the NCFS Claridge Nursery in Goldsboro or the Linville River Nursery near Crossnore.

For information on planting trees, customers are encouraged to contact their local NCFS county ranger.

Rob Montague serves Vance and Granville counties. The office is located at 911 Hillsboro St., Oxford. Phone 919.693.3154 or email Vance.ncfs@ncagr.gov

Learn more at www.ncforestservice.gov/contacts.

Barberio Named To Lead Granville Senior Center’s CLL Program


-information courtesy of Granville County Public Information Officer Terry Hobgood

Russ Barberio has been named the new coordinator of the Creative Lifelong Learning (CLL) program run by Granville County Senior Services. Barberio takes over for Marilyn Howard who is retiring from Granville County at the end of June.

Barberio came to North Carolina in 1982 to be the plant controller at Max Factor Cosmetics in Oxford and stayed in the area after leaving that job to work as a computer software consultant.

In retirement, Barberio had the chance to focus more on his hobbies, including working with the North  Carolina Genealogical Society to promote the organization while working to educate genealogists on research techniques. He also enjoys camping, reading, classical music, Shakespeare, and North Carolina history (particularly the Revolutionary War). After experiencing the rich array of classes available through the Granville County CLL program, Barberio jumped at the chance to lead the program upon Howard’s retirement.

“This program has been administered so successfully by Marilyn for the last six years,” said Barberio.  “She will be sorely missed, but she has left such a solid foundation for us to continue to build on.”

He holds a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Utah and a bachelor’s degree in Management from Utah State University. Barberio lives in Henderson with his wife of 57 years, Diane. They have three children and four grandchildren.

The Creative Lifelong Learning program was established in 2017 through a generous endowment and is modeled after the OLLI programs at Duke and N.C. State universities. The program is committed to offering opportunities to stimulate the mind, uplift the spirit and enhance the well-being of adult learners through a wide range of  educational programs, physical activities and social events.

For more information about CLL and all of the programs offered by Granville County Senior Services, visit the  Granville County website at this link https://www.granvillecounty.org/residents/senior-services/ or follow  Granville County Senior Services on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100064457631282.

The Granville County Senior Center is located at 107 Lanier St. in Oxford and the South Granville Senior Center is located at 114 Douglas Dr. in Creedmoor. The North Granville Senior Center is currently located at 318 US Highway 15 South in Stovall but construction is scheduled to begin this summer on a new center located in downtown Stovall on Oxford Street.