VGCC Vanguards to play JV Tar Heels at Dean Dome

For the first time, the Vance-Granville Community College Vanguards men’s basketball team will soon travel to the Dean Smith Center in Chapel Hill to face the University of North Carolina Tar Heels junior varsity team.

Playing against the prestigious program in one of college basketball’s most well-known arenas has been a longtime goal for VGCC head coach Michael Woody, now in his third season. The JV game is set for Saturday, Jan. 16, at 9 a.m. Later that day, the varsity Tar Heels will take on the N.C. State Wolfpack.

Henderson-based radio station WIZS 1450 AM will provide live coverage of the game starting at 8:45 a.m. Even for those outside the range of the radio station, the broadcast can be streamed online at or on a smart phone with the free “TuneIn Radio” app.

The Vanguards compete in Region X of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II, which includes ten two-year colleges in North Carolina and Virginia.

The UNC JV squad has several community college teams on its schedule this year, including one of VGCC’s Region X conference rivals, Wake Tech Community College. The Tar Heels defeated the Wake Tech Eagles on Dec. 6 by a score of 83-73. Likewise, the Vanguards beat the Eagles by the same margin, 67-57, in VGCC’s season opener on Nov. 6.

VGCC is 1-1 versus the junior varsity squads from four-year schools so far this season. The Vanguards beat the University of Mount Olive JV team on Nov. 8, but lost to the St. Andrews University JV squad on Nov. 16.

Coincidentally, one of the stars of the UNC varsity team, junior Isaiah Hicks, is a former teammate of VGCC sophomore Tyrek Beverly from their days at J.F. Webb High School in Oxford.

Admission is free to the UNC JV game. Attendees must present a valid North Carolina driver’s license at Entry Gate “B” to enter. For more information, call the Smith Center at (919) 962-2296.

Computer Science and Coding

The week of December 7 – 13, Granville County Public School students participated in the International Computer Science Education Week. Known by many as the time for an “Hour of Code”, the celebration marks a time during which students are introduced to computer science and the skill of “coding”. As part of the event, GCPS classes from across the district competed to win a contest for participation. Of the dozens and dozens that entered, the following classes were selected from each grade span:

Elementary: Florence Blackwell at Joe Toler-Oak Hill
Middle: Amanda Vaughan at Granville Magnet
High: Victoria Sondecker at JF Webb School of Health and Life Sciences

You might have heard about the craze for learning code. But what exactly is coding? Coding is what makes it possible for us to create computer software, apps and websites. Your browser, your computer’s basic operating system, the apps on your phone, Facebook, and this website – they’re all made with code.

Learning about coding and computer science is basically about learning how to solve problems using the language of computers. By introducing students to this topic, we hope to provide students an opportunity to explore what will arguably be one of the most important skills for the future.

Beyond this introductory set of activities, Granville County Public Schools also offers other opportunities for coding. Many elementary schools have clubs for coding, and middle schools offer an introduction to these concepts in the Computer Skills and Applications course. In addition, there are a number of Career and Technical Education high school courses that allow students to learn more in-depth skills, including Introduction to Computer Science, Multimedia and Webpage Design, Computer Programming, and AP Computer Science. To learn more about opportunities in Computer Science, contact your school today.  These skills will be in high demand for our students entering the workforce – be prepared!!!!

(Press Release – Granville County Schools)

Beverly returns to leading role with Vanguards

Vance-Granville Community College sophomore Tyrek Beverly of Oxford scored 23 points Jan. 5 as the Vanguards men’s basketball team faced the University of South Carolina-Salkehatchie. He and his teammates fought hard, but the visiting squad eked out a narrow win, 74-71, at Aycock Recreation Center in Henderson.

As a freshman in 2014-15, Beverly was often the team’s leading scorer, but at the beginning of this season, he was sidelined by an injury and only started to get back on the court in late November. His strong performance versus the USC Salkehatchie Indians marked a return to form for the J.F. Webb High School alumnus. Beverly had three rebounds and two steals, as well. Also scoring in double figures were Raekwon Hall of Raleigh, with 15 points, and Ty’Quon Reid of Durham, with 11. Donal Gooch of Raleigh had the most rebounds (8) for the Vanguards.

VGCC’s last three games of 2015 were also losses. On Nov. 24, the Vanguards fell to the reigning national champions, the Statesmen of Richard Bland College, by a score of 102-81 in Petersburg, Va. Hall and Reid led their team in scoring, with 27 and 25 points, respectively. Reid posted 6 rebounds to lead the Vanguards in that statistic.

On Dec. 2, VGCC returned home and played area rival Louisburg College in the second annual “Vanguard Night” game. Festivities included a DJ, prize drawings and performances by the Vanguard Spirit Pep Squad and a step team from a Granville County youth organization, “Un-Rappin’ the Gift.” After a close first half, the Hurricanes pulled away in the second, winning 89-77. Reid’s 30 points made him the Vanguards’ top scorer. Hall contributed 18 points. Gooch recorded 6 rebounds.

The calendar year ended with a 117-111 double-overtime loss to Central Carolina Community College in Sanford on Dec. 8. Hall put up 35 points, while Beverly showed improvement by scoring 22, just one more point than Reid. Gooch again led in rebounding, with 9.

Upcoming VGCC home games at Aycock Recreation Center are scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 7, at 7 p.m., versus Lenoir Community College, and Wednesday, Jan. 27, at 6:30 p.m., versus Catawba Valley Community College. Admission is free.

VGCC to host Martin Luther King Holiday Celebration on Jan. 20

Vance-Granville Community College will hold a special program celebrating the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday on Wednesday, Jan. 20, at 11 a.m. in the Civic Center on VGCC’s Main Campus in Vance County. The celebration is free and open to the public.

The theme of this year’s event is “The Courage to Dream, The Determination to Achieve.” The program will include inspirational music presented by a choir of VGCC faculty and staff, as well as remarks by guest speaker Kanika Turrentine, founder and CEO of the Henderson-based non-profit organization, Infinite Possibilities, Inc. Through her organization, Turrentine has developed and implemented numerous programs and outreach events for targeted groups such as single mothers, at-risk youth, the homeless, and victims of domestic and sexual violence. The Henderson native and former public school teacher graduated from Elizabeth City State University with a Bachelor’s in Business Management and from Strayer University with a Master’s in Public Administration.

Also participating in the program will be officers of the VGCC Student Government Association.

Attendees are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item to be donated to a local charitable organization. All attendees who donate a food item will be eligible to win a door prize.

In case of inclement weather, the event is scheduled to be held on Wednesday, Jan. 27, at 11 a.m.

For more information, contact Melanie Copeland at (252) 738-3271 or

78th Annual H-V Chamber Banquet

In an email to members, Henderson-Vance Chamber of Commerce President John Barnes provides details of the upcoming banquet.

“We are very excited about the annual event that you will not want to miss, which will take place on Thursday, February 4, 2016 at the beautiful Vance Granville Community College Civic Center in Henderson.

“Duke Energy will again serve as the Presenting Sponsor for our 78th Annual Banquet. Currently, Maria Parham Medical Center has already secured one of our Gold sponsorships and BB&T, along with Wake Electric Membership Corporation, have invested as Silver sponsorships. And, Express Employment Professionals is a Bronze sponsor. Gold, Silver, Bronze and Contributing sponsorships are available for any Chamber member.

“Our annual banquet provides a unique opportunity to experience a delicious dinner while enjoying an evening of fellowship with friends, neighbors, and Chamber members. Along with the delectable meal, the evening will include:

“A keynote address delivered by the very dynamic speaker, 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.”

Also as a part of the Banquet:

Recognition of the Vance County Schools’ teacher, assistant principal, and principal of the year.
Announcement of the Vance County Schools’ “Shining Moment in Education” award recipient.
Presentation of the 2015 Ambassador of the Year award
Announce and recognize the recipient of the prestigious Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year award for 2015!
Again this year, the banquet will also feature entertainment and outstanding door prizes.

Barnes said in his email, “Tickets for our Annual Banquet, which are $35 per ticket or reserved tables of 10 for the discounted rate of $320, sell-out very quickly and with an exceptional program planned for 2016, we expect tickets to go fast again this year. Tickets are limited, so you will want to place your order right-away!”

He said, “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.”

VGCC to offer Agricultural Entrepreneurship program in Vance & Granville counties

With partners at the local and state levels, the Vance-Granville Community College Small Business Center will soon offer the “NC REAL Agricultural Entrepreneurship” program in Henderson and in Oxford.

The seven-week course is designed specifically to help local farmers and budding entrepreneurs succeed in developing profitable, environmentally-sound small farms or agricultural businesses.

The class will be offered at the Vance County Regional Farmers Market (210 Southpark Drive, Henderson) on Saturdays, Jan. 23 through March 5, from 8 until 11 a.m.

At the Granville County Expo & Convention Center (4185 U.S. Highway 15, Oxford), the class will be offered on Mondays, Feb. 8 through March 21, from 6 until 9 p.m.

Space is limited to 20 students at each location.

NC REAL Agricultural Entrepreneurship is designed for small business owners who grow crops or trees, raise livestock, or make sauces, pickles or jams with items from a garden. The goal is for participants to strengthen their business savvy in order to gain the highest profit margin possible.

Participants will consider challenges such as pricing their products; the logistics of getting their products to the market; selecting the best market; and how to generate income between growing seasons. Other topics include business development and management, finance and regulatory requirements, quality and safety standards. Participants will also be introduced to resources and contacts that can help them operate more efficiently and effectively.

The instructor at both locations will be Carrie Harvey of Harvey Hills Farms in Oxford, who is also a client of the VGCC Small Business Center.

“This is a hands-on, interactive program, beneficial to farmers or anyone who grows a marketable agricultural product, who wishes to start a business or has been in business less than three years,” said Tanya Weary, director of the Small Business Center. Each participant will receive free, one-on-one counseling as a client of the Small Business Center, which will help them take their ideas to the next level of business planning.

Tuition for the course is $70, and the cost of the textbook is $25. Scholarships to offset the cost of tuition are available to qualified participants, thanks to support from the North Carolina Tobacco Trust Fund Commission.

For more information and to register, contact Kyle Burwell, coordinator of Human Resources Development, at (252) 738-3276 or, or Tanya Weary at (252) 738-3240 or

Propel GPS holds Ribbon Cutting

Propel GPS, LLC held a ribbon cutting on December 8th to celebrate the expansion of their offices at 946X Crossroads Shopping Center on Highway 39.  A Chamber member for over 2 years, the company opened in Henderson over 3 years ago.

Company owner and CEO Rick Burtner welcomed attendees to the event which was part of a Christmas Open House featuring catered refreshments and introductions of team members from various parts of the US. The company offers a one-stop solution for asset management and sensor monitoring in a robust, secure, reliable platform that combines the accuracy of Global Positioning System (GPS) wireless communications using global satellite and cellular technology.  It’s user-friendly application is easy to install, operate and manage and allows for the ease of tracking vehicles and/or critical assets directly from a desktop or mobile phone.

If your company has a fleet to manage, drivers to monitor or temperature sensitive perishable goods to haul, Propel GPS may be just the solution for you.  In addition, the company takes pride in their involvement with area universities and Vance-Granville Community College through the use of interns, practicum classes and student hires as well partnerships with veterans and veteran groups.

The company has offices in Reston, VA and in Henderson, NC and can be reached for business inquiries at 901-359-4731 or on the web at

VGCC graduates 13 cadets in school’s 101st BLET Class

Thirteen cadets graduated on Dec. 15, 2015, from the Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET) program at Vance-Granville Community College, in a ceremony held in the Civic Center on Main Campus. After passing the state certification exam, all are authorized to work in any law enforcement agency in North Carolina.

Graduates of VGCC’s 101st BLET class included Thomas Henry Turner III and Jason Tyler Wright, both of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office; Elliott DeVar Carver of the Granville County Sheriff’s Office; Patrick Ryan Fuqua, Brandon Jay Link and Tiquan Devard Terry, all of the Henderson Police Department; Jason Scott Penshorn and William Keegan Ruark, both of the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation; Travis Ty Womack of the Oxford Police Department; Michael Wayne Martin of the Person County Sheriff’s Office; Tony Joseph Tart of the Vance County Sheriff’s Office; Wilbert Anthony Marrow of the Warren County Sheriff’s Office; and Jamison Patrick Vuolo.

The ceremony began with a presentation of colors by students from the ROTC program at Northern Vance High School, and the singing of the national anthem by NVHS student Jaylen Webb.

In welcoming remarks, Dr. Angela Ballentine, VGCC’s vice president of academic and student affairs, thanked the many leaders from local and state law enforcement agencies in attendance for partnering with the college. “Your support for the BLET program is invaluable,” Ballentine told the law enforcement representatives. “You sponsor our cadets, hire our graduates, provide many of our instructors, and give us feedback and advice. This successful partnership between VGCC and our community improves the safety and quality of life of our region.” She congratulated the graduates on completing the rigorous, 644-hour training program and encouraged them to continue their education.

Speaking on behalf of the class, Cadet Brandon Link praised their instructors, who taught them lessons that would shape their future careers. He called on his classmates to serve and protect “with honesty and pride.”

Graduates selected Sgt. Richard Creech of the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, one of their instructors, to serve as their guest speaker. “Remember in your career to always treat people with respect,” Creech reminded the cadets. “Wearing this badge makes us no better than anyone else, but we are held to a higher standard.”

Andrea Ferguson, the program coordinator, and instructor Glen Boyd presented awards to the top students in the class in three categories. Womack won the “Top Gun” Award for having the highest accuracy score in weapons firing. Ruark earned the Physical Training Award for scoring highest in the various fitness tests the cadets undergo. Wright took home the Academic Achievement Award for having the top grade average in the written tests each cadet must pass.

After all graduates received their certificates, the group recited the “law enforcement code of ethics” published by the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

For more information on the BLET program, contact Ferguson at

VGCC holds College Day for transferring students

Vance-Granville Community College hosted admissions officers from four-year colleges and universities on Dec. 3 on VGCC’s Main Campus. The event was VGCC’s annual “College Day,” where students obtain important information about transfer requirements, financial aid and scholarships that can help them take the next steps in their educational journeys.

The VGCC Student Learning and Success Center organized the fair in partnership with the Carolinas Association of Collegiate Registrars & Admissions Officers (CACRAO).

VGCC students browsed through displays, picked up informational materials, and talked with representatives from 14 four-year schools. Almost all of the represented colleges and universities were from North Carolina.

Each year, large numbers of students start their higher education at VGCC before transferring to four-year institutions. VGCC has numerous articulation agreements with four-year schools (both public and private) that allow students to transfer credits in various programs. The VGCC College Transfer program provides students with the first two years of a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree. College Transfer courses are offered at all four VGCC campuses and online. In recent years, the comprehensive articulation agreements between all North Carolina community colleges, the UNC System and the private N.C. Independent Colleges and Universities have been revised with clearer pathways. Graduates of the Associate in Arts and Associate in Science programs at VGCC are guaranteed admission into one of the 16 UNC schools, typically transferring in with the standing of juniors.

High school students in one of the four Early College programs operated by VGCC in partnership with local public school systems can earn up to two years of college-transferable credit, tuition-free.

For more information on enrolling at VGCC and transfer options, contact the Student Learning and Success Center at or (252) 738-3330, or visit any campus.

Granville County Criminal Superior Court

Oxford, NC – Granville County Criminal Superior Court was held during the week of December 7, 2015. Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Robert H. Hobgood presided during the session. The Office of District Attorney Mike Waters was represented by Assistant District Attorneys Allison S. Capps, Tasha C. Gardner and Michael W. Putney, Jr.

The week-long session began with the trial of State of North Carolina vs. Stevie Roberts. Mr. Roberts was charged with Driving While Impaired which was alleged to have occurred on December 7, 2012. Mr. Roberts was represented by attorney A. Chance Wilkinson. At the close of all evidence and arguments of counsel, the jury convicted Mr. Roberts of a Level 5 DWI. Mr. Roberts received a 60-day sentence, which was suspended for 24 months of supervised probation.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Michael W. Putney, Jr. The case was investigated by Officer S.C. Slinkard of Butner Public Safety under the leadership of Chief Danny Roberts.

On Thursday, December 10, 2015, a plea was entered in the case of State of North Carolina vs. Rodriquez Teshawn Thomas. Mr. Thomas was charged with First Degree Murder and Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon in the September 25,2013 death of Musleh Mohamed Saleh Qayed. Mr. Thomas
pleaded guilty to Second Degree Murder and Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon. He was represented by attorneys David R. Waters and Joyce Fischer. Mr. Thomas was sentenced by Judge Hobgood to two consecutive, active sentences of 365 to 450 months and 78 to 106 months in the North Carolina
Department of Adult Correction.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Allison S. Capps and Tasha C. Gardner. The case was investigated by Retired Detective B. Strother and Detective C. Williams of the Granville County Sheriff’s Office under the leadership of Sheriff Brindell B. Wilkins.

Please feel free to visit our Facebook page at to see this press release and the accompanying photo.

(Information provided to WIZS by The Office of Mike Waters by press release.)