Winter Weather Closings

Updated:  All campuses of Vance-Granville Community College will be closed on Monday, February 15.

Vance County Schools closed Monday, February 15, for all students and school system employees.

Granville County Public Schools closed for all students and staff for Monday, February 15.

Cast, crew announced for VGCC Dinner Theater production

Vance-Granville Community College has announced the cast and crew for “Deathtrap,” a comedy-thriller that will be the college’s fourth annual Dinner Theater event.

The dinner theater is scheduled for the evenings of Thursday, April 28, and Friday, April 29, in the Civic Center on VGCC’s Main Campus in Vance County. Dinner begins at 6 p.m. each night. Then, on Saturday, April 30, at 2 p.m., there will be a special encore matinee performance of the play, without dinner, at the same location.

For the first time, the dinner theater will incorporate two casts in order to provide more opportunities for students to participate. On Thursday and Friday, the cast will include Spencer Nunn of Warrenton as Sidney Bruhl, Jessie Hartley of Oxford as Myra Bruhl, Morgan McFalls of Oxford as Clifford Anderson, and Jordan Bunting of Rocky Mount as Porter Milgrim. For the Saturday matinee, the cast will feature TaJuan (“Taj”) Glenn of Oxford as Sidney Bruhl, Tia Garren of Henderson as Myra Bruhl, Malachi Glass of Henderson as Clifford Anderson, and Keyante Lindsey of Oxford as Porter Milgrim. Brittney Patterson of Henderson will play the part of Helga ten Dorp in both casts.

The crew includes Jerome Bulluck of Henderson, who is serving as stage manager, sound designer and lighting engineer; Michael Frink of Raleigh, the sound engineer who is also helping with props; and Ashley McEntee of Oxford, who is supervising props and costumes, with assistance from Jamie McGinn of Wake Forest and Allen Young of Henderson.

All are current students at the college, except for Garren, a VGCC alumna who is now on the staff of the college’s Continuing Education division.

Betsy Henderson, VGCC’s Department Chair/Instructor of Humanities and Fine Arts, is the director of the play.

Written by the late playwright and novelist Ira Levin, Deathtrap enjoyed a successful original Broadway run from 1978 through 1982 and was then adapted into a feature film. Skillfully blending thrills and laughter, the plot concerns the devious machinations of Sidney Bruhl, a writer of thrillers whose recent offerings have been flops, and who is prepared to go to any lengths to improve his fortunes. He receives a script from a student, Clifford Anderson, and immediately recognizes the thriller as a potential hit, setting in motion a suspenseful chain of events.

Tickets are scheduled to go on sale on March 15. For more information, visit

VGCC Trustees endorse Connect NC Bond

The Vance-Granville Community College Board of Trustees has voiced its support of the Connect NC Bond on the ballot for voters in the primary on March 15.

In a unanimous vote on Monday night, Feb. 8, at the trustees’ regular bimonthly meeting, the board adopted a resolution of support for the $2 billion bond package.

“The Connect NC Bond … will enable North Carolina’s systems of higher education to educate and train a highly qualified workforce for the 21st century and will support our state’s parks, National Guard, community infrastructure, and agricultural resources,” the resolution states.

If approved by the state’s voters, $7.6 million of the bond package “will pay for ongoing, necessary improvements for VGCC and provide a substantial savings to the people of Vance, Granville, Franklin and Warren counties,” the resolution states.

“This is the first statewide bond we’ve had since the year 2000,” VGCC President Dr. Stelfanie Williams told the board. “The state of North Carolina has actually grown by 2 million people since then. We have a lot of new people in our state.

“This will very much benefit our region. Not only will the community college receive funding but also the state parks. Kerr Lake is set to receive $3,750,000. Municipalities can apply for water and sewer infrastructure,” Dr. Williams said.

The college can use its allocation for new construction, renovations and repairs across its four campuses, Dr. Williams added.

VGCC’s proposed allocation is the eighth largest among the state’s community colleges. “The nice thing about this bond for Vance-Granville is that the formula for determining allocations incorporated county wealth and the age of buildings, so we fared well with $7.6 million,” Dr. Williams said.

Steve Graham, VGCC’s vice president of finance and operations, said the college has many needs for retrofitting and enhancing instructional program spaces and addressing critical repair and renovation needs with the bond proceeds, if approved.

Graham noted as examples that partnerships with area industry are resulting in higher enrollments in programs such as the new Mechatronics Engineering Technology academic program. Additional space is needed for lecture areas and for housing new equipment.

Some buildings on VGCC’s main campus have air handling units that are over 30 years old, and there are older model fire alarm systems that need to be replaced, Graham added. In some curriculum areas, such as Cosmetology, electrical and ventilation upgrades are needed.

Dr. Williams added that the public school students will also benefit from the bonds in the four-county area, because there are approximately 800 enrolled in the early college high schools on VGCC’s four campuses.

On the ballot, the Connect NC Bond will be labeled the “Connect NC Public Improvement Bond.” Early voting is scheduled for March 3-12, Dr. Williams said.

The board voted to contribute $7,000 of non-state funds to support the Connect NC Bond Committee.

In other action:

  • Mid-Year Amendments to the 2015-2016 Budget Resolution were approved. Trustee Danny Wright, chair of the board’s Budget Committee, said the adjustments were necessary to account for $2,074,022 in carryover funds from the previous year and grant funding.
  • The board voted to close the Industrial Systems academic program, effective in the fall of 2016, upon recommendation of the Curriculum Committee, chaired by Trustee Barbara Cates Harris. More students are gravitating to the Mechatronics program, contributing to low enrollment in Industrial Systems.
  • Under a new sales tax redistribution plan, the state and local sales tax base will be expanded to include repair, maintenance and installation services, Graham reported. A portion of local sales tax revenue will be placed in a statewide pool and allocated under a new statutory method with the proceeds used for expenditures related to economic development, public schools or community colleges. By county, the estimated annual distribution is: Vance, $241,000; Granville, $1,157,000; Franklin, $1,903,000; and Warren, $778,000.
  • Following a report by Trustee Sara Wester, chair of the Personnel Committee, the trustees approved resolutions to adopt two additional Supplemental Retirement Plans established by the State for the benefit of VGCC employees with no cost to the college. All qualified employees are eligible immediately for the NC 403 (b) and NC 457 plans.
  • The Investment Committee, co-chaired by Trustees Opie Frazier and Donald Seifert, reported on a joint meeting held with members of the VGCC Endowment Fund Board of Directors in January. Seifert said the two boards are currently updating the college’s investment policies.
  • In an update for the Building Committee, Graham reported that work began on the Building 10 renovations in January with an expected completion date of June 23.
  • The board approved a course offering at Polk Correctional Institution in Butner and Warren Correctional Institution in Manson. All courses offered at the state’s prisons must go before trustees for approval.
  • Student Government Association President Aleria Perry, who serves as Student Trustee, announced upcoming events at the college, including Fun Friday for Valentine’s Day on Feb. 12, Spirit Week starting Feb. 29, and a Talent Show for students on March 4.
  • In Dr. Williams’ report to the board, the trustees were updated on activities since the board last met in November, including the recent announcement of a former VGCC president, Dr. Ben Currin, winning the community college system’s top award, the I.E. Ready Award, and plans for VGCC’s new online learning initiative, VOLT (Vanguard Online Learning through Technology), to offer online College Transfer degrees starting in the fall. She also announced the dates of an Arts & Sciences Lecture Series that will feature Bill Barker of Colonial Williamsburg, Va., as Thomas Jefferson; lectures are set for Feb. 18, March 17, and April 21, at 11 a.m. each day in the Auditorium in Building 2. The college’s Fourth Annual Dinner Theater will be held April 28-30. The annual VGCC Endowment Fund Golf Tournament is set for Tuesday, May 3.

The Monday night meeting was moved to Feb. 8 because of inclement weather on the original meeting date of Jan. 25. The next meeting of the Board of Trustees is set for Monday, March 21, on the Main Campus.

VGCC welcomes “Thomas Jefferson” for lecture series

Vance-Granville Community College’s Arts and Sciences division is offering a spring lecture series with a distinguished guest speaker, former President Thomas Jefferson — or, to be exact, Bill Barker, the critically acclaimed resident “Mr. Jefferson” at Colonial Williamsburg, Va.

The public is invited to attend the Jefferson presentations, as are VGCC students, faculty and staff. On Thursday, Feb. 18, at 11 a.m., the series kicks off with “Mr. Jefferson and the Pursuit of Science.” That will be followed by “Mr. Jefferson and the U.S. Constitution,” on Thursday, March 17, at 11 a.m.; and finally “Mr. Jefferson and Slavery,” on Thursday, April 21, at 11 a.m.

All of the hour-long lectures will be held in the small auditorium in Building 2 on VGCC’s Main Campus in Henderson.

The lectures will illuminate topics from many different disciplines within the arts and sciences at VGCC, from the math and natural science subjects that so fascinated Jefferson to history and other social sciences. Meanwhile, the lively format also highlights language and dramatic arts.

Barker has portrayed Thomas Jefferson in a variety of venues since his first appearance at Independence Hall in Philadelphia in 1984. He has been a regular interpreter at Colonial Williamsburg since 1993. Born and raised in Philadelphia, his interest in Thomas Jefferson reaches back to his youth. He enjoys researching the American world Jefferson knew with an interest in the role the man played and continues to play in our American identity.

Barker received a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in history, from Villanova University. Attracted to the stage at an early age, he became a professional actor, director and producer. He was cast as Jefferson in many different venues including the musical, 1776. Barker is the same height, weight and general appearance as Mr. Jefferson.

He has performed as Jefferson at the White House, the Palace of Versailles and throughout the United States, Great Britain, France and even on the Las Vegas Strip. He appeared as the Founding Father in programs that aired on ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, CNN, The History Channel, and C-SPAN.

For more information on the lecture series, call David Wyche at (252) 738-3364 or Deanna Stegall at (252) 738-3311.

Read-a-Thon at Perry Memorial Library

One of the most important missions of the Perry Library Youth Department is to promote early literacy within the library through programming and information distribution and to partner with community organizations with similar goals.  To that end, the library is holding a Read-a-Thon in cooperation with FGV Smart Start.  The theme of the Read-a-Thon will be:  “Read for the Youngest Readers”.  All proceeds from the Read-a-Thon will go the Dolly Parton Imagination Library program which provides age appropriate books, one per month, to children ages 0-5 years.

We are looking for community organizations and local businesses that would be willing pledge donations based upon the number of hours read during our Read-a-Thon.  The Read-a-Thon will take place at Perry Memorial Library on Monday, February 15th from 12:00 pm until 8:00 pm.  Any and all members of the community ages 1 to 100 are encouraged to read for this cause.  The total number of hours read by all who come to the library will be the basis for any pledges we receive.  The names of all businesses or organizations pledging their support for the Read-a-Thon will be publicized so that the community will know who to thank.

If you would like more information about the Read-a-Thon, or would like to give a pledge of support, please contact Angie Bates at or 252-438-3316 (ext 225).  If you would like more information about the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, please contact Gary Daeke, Development Coordinator of Smart Start, at or 252-433-9110 (ext 227).

(All of the information above was written and supplied to member businesses of the H-V Chamber of Commerce by email.)

(Perry Library Online) – (Perry Library on Facebook)

(F-G-V Smart Start Online) – (F-G-V Smart Start on Facebook)

(Dolly Parton Imagination Library Online) – (Dolly Parton Imagination Library Online on Facebook)

Local Chick-fil-A owner starts new VGCC Scholarship

Josh Towne, the franchised restaurant owner/operator of the Chick-fil-A in Henderson, has established a new Vance-Granville Community College scholarship. When fully endowed, the “Chick-fil-A of Henderson Academic Achievement Scholarship” will be awarded to VGCC students meeting certain academic requirements.

A New Bern native, Towne has lived in Henderson since moving in 2005 to become the operator of the local Chick-fil-A restaurant. He has worked with the company for the past 20 years. He is also an alumnus of the North Carolina Community College System. After graduating from Cape Fear Community College with an associate degree, Towne completed a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington with concentrations in marketing and management.

“I’m a big proponent of community colleges,” said Towne, who recently became a member of the VGCC Endowment Fund board of directors. He added that on the corporate level, Chick-fil-A also supports education through scholarships for its employees. He recommends employees for the scholarship and presents them each year. “I’ve been here a little more than ten years, and we’ve been awarding scholarships throughout that time,” Towne said. “Many of our employees receiving the scholarships are VGCC students. Some have already gone on to become nurses and to pursue other careers.” In 2015 alone, two VGCC students who work at the restaurant received $1,000 scholarships from the company. The franchise employs approximately 65 people, including both full-time and part-time staff.

Towne also supports education locally as a member of the Vance Charter School board of directors.

“We are fortunate and grateful to have the support and partnership of Josh Towne and Chick-fil-A of Henderson,” said Dr. Stelfanie Williams, president of VGCC. “As a community college graduate who has become a successful business leader, Josh inspires us all by demonstrating a commitment to helping the students of today and tomorrow.”

Through the Endowment Fund, VGCC has awarded more than 8,000 scholarships to students since 1982. Scholarships have been endowed by numerous individuals, industries, businesses, civic groups, churches and the college’s faculty and staff. Tax-deductible donations to the VGCC Endowment Fund have often been used to honor or remember a person, group, business or industry with a lasting gift to education. For more information about the Endowment Fund, call (252) 738-3409.

78th Annual H-V Chamber Banquet

2016 Henderson-Vance Chamber of Commerce 78th Annual Membership Banquet

The Chamber recently emailed the following information to member businesses:

“The 78th Henderson -Vance Chamber of Commerce Annual Membership banquet will be held on Thursday, February 4th at the Vance Granville Community College Civic Center in Henderson.

“A keynote address will delivered by the Mr. Chris Chung, Chief Executive Officer of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina who will provide an informative analysis about economic development in Vance County and North Carolina.

“Seating for dinner will be promptly at 6:30 pm.

“Tickets are available for $35 each or a table of 10 for $320.

“Please contact the Henderson-Vance Chamber of Commerce office at 252-438-8414 for ticket purchases or details on how your business can give-back to your community while also receiving exceptional brand recognition through our outstanding sponsorship investment opportunities.

“If you have purchased tickets and have not let us know who will be attending, please do so as soon as possible. Thank you!”

The Chamber also wished to thank its banquet sponsors.

“Thank you to our sponsors! 

“Duke Energy will again serve as the Presenting Sponsor.
“Carolina Country Snacks, CenturyLink, Maria Parham Medical Center and MARS Petcare are Gold sponsors.
“Silver sponsors include BB&T, Envirolink, Wake Electric Membership Corporation, and Walmart DC #6091.
“Express Employment Professionals and J.M. White Funeral Service are our Bronze sponsors.”

Granville Sheriff’s Office Release

The Granville County Sheriff’s Office has recently made the following arrests:

Stephen Wade Padgett
Arrested early Saturday morning, charged with 3 counts Breaking and Entering and property damage on Cash Rd. and one count of Obstruction.
$80,000 bond

Gary Midgette
Charged with indoor marijuana grow operation and manufacturing non tax paid liquor.
$25,000 bond.

Dr. Ben Currin Honored

Former VGCC president honored with Community College System’s top award

The State Board of Community Colleges recently selected Dr. Ben F. Currin, the former president of Vance-Granville Community College, to receive the highest honor the board can bestow, the I.E. Ready Award, for 2016.

Named for Isaac Epps Ready, the first state director of the North Carolina Community College System, the prestigious award was created in 1983 to recognize individuals who have made significant, statewide contributions to the establishment, development or enhancement of the System.

Currin, now retired and living in Raleigh, has contributed over 40 years of service to North Carolina, including serving as president of VGCC for 18 years starting in 1981.

Under Currin’s leadership, VGCC grew from one campus to four, with a total of almost $18 million worth of new construction at all campuses. During his tenure, VGCC also reactivated the college’s Endowment Fund, which grew from $12,000 in 1982 to $5 million at the time of his retirement and provided scholarships for numerous students. In retirement, Currin continues to serve on the Endowment Fund Board of Directors.

“Dr. Currin is regarded not only as a leader who made a significant impact on the communities served by VGCC, but also as a trailblazer who created a model of success for community colleges everywhere,” said Dr. Stelfanie Williams, the current president of the college. “His vision and innovation in establishing satellite campuses, building strong community partnerships and developing our scholarship program make him truly deserving of the I.E. Ready Award.”

A native of Granville County and a graduate of Oxford High School, Currin received his bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1959. He earned his master’s degree in education in 1962 and his advanced graduate certificate in professional education in 1963, both from UNC. He received his doctorate in education from UNC in 1970 in education administration with a minor in political science.

Currin assumed the VGCC presidency after having served as a teacher, coach and public school administrator, including 11 years as superintendent of Rocky Mount City Schools. While in Rocky Mount, he also taught graduate courses at East Carolina University as an adjunct professor.

Currin earned high esteem from his peers in higher education. A University of Texas study in 1988-89 named him one of the “best of the best” among community college presidents across the nation, and he was given a National Leadership Award at the Leadership 2000 conference in San Francisco. He was also one of 75 participants chosen nationwide to participate in the Management of Lifelong Education Institute at Harvard University.

Deborah Brown, the current chair of the VGCC Board of Trustees, wrote in a letter of support for Currin’s nomination for the I.E. Ready Award that the college stood at a crossroads when he became its leader. “Dr. Currin took the right path through the crossroads and led Vance-Granville from a fledgling school into a powerful institution, demonstrating how rural colleges can deliver education to citizens effectively and efficiently,” Brown wrote. She also said he emphasized building the college’s public image and keeping VGCC on the cutting edge, both by introducing new training programs and incorporating new technology.

VGCC Board of Trustees member L. Opie Frazier Jr. also wrote a letter endorsing Currin’s nomination. The longest-serving trustee in VGCC history, Frazier chaired the board for many of the years in which Currin was president. “While I had only heard of Ben Currin prior to his coming to us as a candidate for president, I can say without question now that he was indeed a godsend for Vance-Granville,” Frazier wrote. “His greatest asset was his emphasis on students. The second was his enthusiasm. His successes are many – for example, the satellite campuses started under his leadership and the scholarship program that grew dramatically – because he wanted the best for students, and his enthusiasm helped him win friends at various levels to help him grow the college and serve more students.”

Currin received the Order of the Long Leaf Pine from Gov. Beverly Perdue. In remarks at the ceremony at which Currin was honored with that award, Dr. J. Reid Parrott Jr., retired president of Nash Community College, cited the positive impact Currin had on VGCC. “I want to tell you, I’ve been doing this community college stuff a long time, and there is no president of all 58 of our schools that has transformed an institution as quickly and as magnificently as Ben Currin did at Vance-Granville,” Parrott said.

After retiring from VGCC, Currin served on the state Charter Schools Advisory Committee for eight years and for a short period as interim headmaster of Kerr-Vance Academy.

Previous winners of the I.E. Ready Award include three former governors, three former state legislators, 14 former members of the State Board of Community Colleges, two former Council of State members, two former United States Senators, seven former college trustees, four former college presidents, four former System Presidents, two former System Office employees, and six former educators.

Only one other I.E. Ready Award recipient has been a VGCC official: the late John T. Church Sr. of Henderson, who chaired the college’s Board of Trustees and served in the General Assembly.


(This VGCC Press Release was supplied to WIZS and was written by Andrew Beal, Public Information Officer of Vance-Granville Community College.)

Winter Weather


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Closings & Delays


  • Crossroads Christian Schools – CLOSED Tuesday, January 26.
  • Granville County Public Schools – CLOSED Tuesday, January 26, for all students and school system employees. This Saturday, January 30 will be a make-up school day. School will open on an early release schedule on this day. Making up instructional hours this Saturday will help protect our calendar for the remainder of the year.
  • Vance County Public Schools – CLOSED Tuesday, January 26, for all students and school system employees.
  • Vance-Granville Community College – All VGCC campuses will open at 12 noon on Tuesday, January 26.
  • Victory Christian School and Daycare – CLOSED Tuesday, January 26.



  • The District Attorney’s offices – in Vance, Granville, Franklin and Warren counties will open at 9:30 am on Tuesday, January 26, 2016.  Franklin County District Court, Vance County District Court and Vance County CMS Court will begin at 10:30 am on Tuesday, January 26, 2016.  Granville County Superior Trial Court will begin at 11:00 am on Tuesday, January 26, 2016.  Anyone who missed his/her court date Monday, because of court cancellations, will be mailed a notice by the Clerk of Court notifying of a new court date.