Mar. 7 Is Social Security Administration’s “Slam The Scam” Day

Today is the fifth annual “Slam the Scam” observance to raise awareness about protecting sensitive Social Security information from fraudsters.

The Social Security Administration and its Office of the Inspector General (OIG) are partnering once again to raise public awareness about Social Security imposter scams.

“As public servants, we must use every tool at our disposal to raise awareness and protect the American people against Social Security imposter scams,” said Martin O’Malley, Commissioner of Social Security. “Scammers use fear and deception to scare people out of their critical benefits. We urge everyone to protect their personal information, remain vigilant, do not give money, and report any scam attempts to”

Keep in mind that Social Security employees will never:

  • tell you that your Social Security number is suspended
  • contact you to demand an immediate payment
  • threaten you with arrest
  • ask for your credit or debit card numbers over the phone
  • request gift cards or cash
  • promise a Social Security benefit approval or increase in exchange for information or money

Social Security employees do contact the public by telephone for business purposes. Ordinarily, the agency calls people who have recently applied for a Social Security benefit, are already receiving payments and require an update to their record, or who have requested a phone call from the agency. If there is a problem with a person’s Social Security number or record, Social Security will typically mail a letter.

Social Security scams–where fraudsters mislead victims into making cash, gift card, or wire transfer payments to fix alleged Social Security number problems or to avoid arrest–are an ongoing government imposter fraud scheme. Social Security impersonation scams have been one of the most common government imposter scams reported to the Federal Trade Commission. Social Security continues to make concerted efforts to address this issue, through extensive outreach and investigative initiatives.

Criminals use sophisticated tactics to trick potential victims into disclosing personal and financial information. Typically, they use these P’s – Pretend, Prize or Problem, Pressure, and Payment. For example, scammers pretend they are from Social Security in phone calls, texts, emails, and direct messages on social media, and claim there is a problem with the person’s Social Security number. The scammer’s caller ID may be spoofed to look like a legitimate government number. Scammers may also send fake documents to pressure people into complying with demands for information or money. Other common tactics include citing “badge numbers,” using fraudulent Social Security letterhead, and creating imposter social media pages to target individuals for payment or personal information.

To report a scam attempt, go to

“On our fifth National Slam the Scam Day, we are just as committed as we were in 2020. The scammers have not stopped, and we will not stop in our commitment to increase public awareness of these pervasive scams,” said Gail S. Ennis, Inspector General for SSA. “We are grateful for the many partnerships we have formed over the last five years in support of this initiative and the collaborative efforts that have come forth. We must continue to work together to slam the scam.”

For more information, please visit and


SportsTalk: Hammett Rebuilds JF Webb Softball

It was only a couple of years ago that JF Webb had no softball team.  Covid and a lack players meant the program had become dormant.  That has all changed with Corey Hammett.  Last year she brought the program back and took the Warriors into the state playoffs.  Hammett sees more success this year for JF Webb.  “We should be a top three team in the conference,” she said on Thursday’s SportsTalk.  There are still challenges for Hammett.  “Our biggest challenges are getting girls interested and teaching the fundamentals,” Hammett explained.

She also had to overcome field problems since it had not been used in some time.  This year, the field is once again an issue.  Not because of non-use but rain.  The team has had several games rained out the wet field has meant they have only been able to get in two games, both losses, to Oxford Prep.  Hammett said she hopes to get the Warriors back on the field on the road against Riverside Monday night.


Granville Tourism Development Authority Grant Application Period Open Now Through May 1

The Granville Tourism Development Authority mini-grant program is open and accepting applications for projects up to $5,000.

The mini-grant program helps county organizations and agencies promote and market events and activities that encourage tourism and create an economic impact. Funded projects should create visitor spending with a goal of helping stimulate events and/or activities that can grow  and eventually thrive on their own merit, without direct funding. As such, any approved funding should be considered as a supplemental resource only.

Eligible organizations include Granville County-based community groups, nonprofit organizations and municipalities – or recognized communities – located within Granville County.  A for-profit group may apply for grant funding IF the event’s revenue will benefit a community-supported organization.

Priority will be given to projects that encourage out-of-county visitors, with primary consideration given to those that promote the Granville TDA’s mission of marketing the area as a travel destination. The tourism industry’s definition of a “visitor” is an individual trekking outside of 50 miles to attend an event or activity. Events planned for off-peak times may receive higher priority.

Total funding of any event, project or program will not be greater than 25 percent of the total project budget and will not exceed $5,000. Included with the request can be a one-time artist/entertainment allowance of up to $1,000.

Grant applications will be accepted until May 1, 2024, for inclusion in the upcoming fiscal year budget (July 1, 2024, through June 30, 2025). The Granville TDA board of directors will review applications and make recommendations for approval at the June board meeting and award recipients will be notified after July 1, 2024, when the new fiscal year begins.

Applications are available online at

or through the Granville County Tourism Development office located at 124 Hillsboro St., Oxford. For more information, contact Tourism Director Angela Allen at 919.693.6125 or


SGHS Senior Honored As Chamber’s February Student Spotlight Winner


A South Granville High School senior has been recognized as the February Student Spotlight winner by the Granville County Chamber of Commerce.

Madison Lavrack was nominated by Leah Powell, a digital teacher & learning advisor with Granville County Public Schools, for her leadership and advocacy skills she exhibits in both school-based and districtwide roles.

Madison is part of the Student Technology Assistance & Response team – STAR – at her school, and she also supervises a four-member team that manages district and school websites and communications, Powell noted in her nomination.

“Recently, she has taken on the role of managing the STAR team’s new members on the Marketing Team, further displaying her commitment to providing opportunities and information to fellow students,” Powell said.

As a student ambassador for SGHS, she actively promotes a culture of positivity by collaborating closely with staff and students. She is an open-minded individual and willing to share ideas and receive feedback.

As Madison nears graduation, her top school choice is UNC-Wilmington.  She plans to major in business while also having a strong passion for marketing and design as well as business management.  Her experience with the GCPS Marketing & Promotional Support STAR Team has increased her interest in not only marketing but also in graphic design.  Madison strives to continually learn new things and increase her knowledge in various subjects relating to business.

Madison has played a crucial role within their team, with Powell noting her growth over time and her willingness to take on new responsibilities. Described as a go-getter who approaches tasks with care and kindness, Powell expresses immense pride in Madison’s achievements. And indeed, we share in that pride!

Kerr-Tar COG Schedules Info Sessions On Local Food Systems

What do you think about when you hear or read the phrase “food chain?”

Some folks may think back to elementary school Science lessons that talked about little fish getting gobbled up by bigger and bigger fish. But the Kerr-Tar region Council of Government is scheduling a series of meetings – one in each of the five counties it represents – for regional policymakers to hear from folks in the community about what’s working and what’s needed when it comes to our local “food chain.”

One of the outcomes of the meetings is the development of a food policy council, according to information publicizing the events.

If you think about it, we’re all part of the “food chain” whether we grow and market vegetables locally or simply prepare meals for ourselves and our families.

Everyone is welcome to share experiences, successes and challenges – from the consumer to producer, as well as food pantry partners and other agencies in the community.

The meetings begin next week in Roxboro and continue through March. Each session will be from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.  To register for one of the meetings, email or phone 980.389.3446.

Here’s the list of meetings:

  • Wednesday, Mar. 6 in Roxboro, Person County Cooperative Extension Center
  • Wednesday, Mar. 13 in Louisburg, Franklin County Cooperative Extension Center
  • Tuesday, Mar. 19 in Warrenton, Warren County Library
  • Tuesday, Mar. 26 in Henderson, Vance County Regional Farmers Market
  • Wednesday, Mar. 27 in Oxford, Richard Thornton Public Library




TownTalk: Granville County Features Weddings, Ambulances And Vikings In March

Whether planning a wedding, family reunion or a party to celebrate one of those “milestone” birthdays, Granville County Tourism Director Angela Allen said there will be something for everyone at Saturday’s Wedding and Special Event Expo.

The event will be held on Saturday, Mar. 2 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Creedmoor Community Center and Allen said it’ll be “one-stop shopping” to learn about everything from like venues and photographers all the way to music, caterers and gifts for the bride and groom.

This year’s expo features a formalwear shop in Durham, who will have information about not just wedding attire, but also for proms, dances and other special occasions.

Allen told WIZS’s co-host Bill Harris the expo evolved – thanks to COVID – from the original Brides on Wheels event to an expo that houses a variety of vendors under one roof.

The BOW event began in 2015 as a way to showcase the different wedding venue options. But when COVID restrictions were in place by 2020, Allen said it wasn’t feasible to load a bus and then visit the different featured venues.

When one door closes, another door opens.

“Because of COVID, we aren’t taking life for granted anymore,” Allen said. So whether you’re a bride-to-be or you’re “going over the top” to plan a birthday party, the expo is for you.

“We’re trying to give you the perfect day – whatever you want that day to look like,” Allen said.

“We jam pack a lot in three hours.”

The Creedmoor Community Center is located at 116 Douglas Drive in Creedmoor.

The Granville Ambulance Chase and food truck rodeo is set for Saturday, Mar. 16 at Granville Health System. There are races for the serious runners as well as fun runs and a kid dash during the morning and the food truck rodeo will last from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

A group of health system employees calling themselves Trippin’ Breakers will provide live music at the event.

Visit to register and find details about the different race options.

“The Viking Experience” returns to Granville County’s The Barn at Vino in March for a weekend of immersive entertainment. Allen said this is the third year of the event, and there will be plenty of excitement for adults and young people alike on Saturday, Mar. 23 and Sunday, Mar. 24.

There are a few upgrades for this year’s event that should streamline parking and check-in at the two-day event at 3200 Bliss Trail in Stem, Allen said.

“All tickets for the event are going to be bought online,” she said, adding that there will be NO gate or cash sales. A 100 percent online purchase option should speed things up this year.

Having said that, Allen strongly suggests that anyone interested in attending this year’s “experience” should get tickets now before they sell out.

Visit to purchase tickets.

There will be an after-hours show on Saturday from 4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. This is a ticketed event and takes the place of the popular dinner theatre event, Allen explained.

Not to worry, this popular offering is set to become a stand-alone event in the fall, she added.

To learn more about these events and more, check out and social media channels.




TownTalk: Tax Prep Help Available

The IRS is offering assistance to eligible tax filers during special Saturday hours at a couple of locations in Granville County beginning this Saturday, Feb. 24.

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs are available to offer free tax help for taxpayers who qualify.

Representative of the two programs will be at Richard Thornton Public Library in Oxford from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.  on Feb. 24; if evening hours are better, make plans to go to the library’s South Branch Monday, Feb. 26 between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. to request help.

The next closest location for the free tax help offered by VITA and TCE is at the Taxpayer Assistance Center, 7751 Brier Creek Parkway, Suite 102, Raleigh. At this location, in-person help is available from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

No appointment is required for any of the sites offering the help.

The VITA program has operated for more than 50 years. VITA sites offer free tax help to people who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns, including:

  • People who generally make $64,000 or less
  • Persons with disabilities; and
  • Limited English-speaking taxpayers

Before going to a VITA or TCE site, see Publication 3676-B for services provided and check out What to Bring to ensure you have all the required documents and information the volunteers will need to help you.

Visit to find out more, including what types of information you’ll need to bring, including a government-issued photo ID, Social Security numbers or ITIN for all household members and more.

Additional resources are found below:




N.C. Rep. Sossamon Plans Forums In Vance, Granville To Raise Awareness About Human Trafficking

Human trafficking continues to be a concern in North Carolina, with the state consistently ranking within the top 10 for the highest number of trafficking cases. To address this pressing concern, N.C. Rep. Frank Sossamon is scheduling a couple of forums for his District 32 constituents to raise awareness and foster community engagement.

Sossamon said, “The more we know about human trafficking, the lower the number of trafficking cases.” With this in mind, he emphasizes the importance of community involvement in recognizing and reporting suspected instances of trafficking. “When it comes to human trafficking, vocalizing suspicions is essential to saving lives,” he said.

The forums will be held Tuesday, Mar. 12 at Perry Memorial Library and Thuersday, Mar. 14 at the Granville County Expo Center. Members of the North Carolina Human Trafficking Commission will facilitate the meeting, which will feature local highway patrol, victim advocates and community leaders, who will provide insights into the prevalence of human trafficking, its impact on communities and ways individuals can help prevent and address it. Both sessions will feature a 4 p.m. session tailored for law enforcement professionals and a 6 p.m. session open to the general public.

Upcoming Blood Drives


Recent inclement weather across the country has hampered blood drive efforts, and demands for blood and plasma and blood donations continues to be greater than supply. There are several local opportunities to give blood in Vance and Granville counties through February.

The American Red Cross urges donors to give blood or platelets now to continue to strengthen the national blood supply.

Book a time to give by visiting, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, or call 1-800-RED CROSS. People of all blood types – especially type O blood donors, the most needed blood group by hospitals – and platelet donors are needed daily to ensure blood products are available for hospitals at a moment’s notice.

As February continues, so does the potential for additional weather systems to disrupt blood drives and the ability to provide critical blood products to hospitals. While thousands of donors have answered the call to donate in recent weeks to combat a significant drop in the blood supply, more donors are needed now to ensure the blood supply remains ready for those in need of lifesaving medical procedures.


As a way to say thanks for helping, all who come to give in February will get a $20 Gift Card by email. Details are available at

Upcoming blood drives:



2/20/2024: 11 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Vance Granville Community College, 200 Community College Road

2/20/2024: 1:30 p.m. – 6 p.m., Kerr Lake Country Club, 600 Hedrick Road





2/29/2024: 12 p.m. – 4:30 p.m., Butner Town Hall, 415 Central Avenue



2/16/2024: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Creedmoor Community Center, 116 Douglas Drive



2/23/2024: 9 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Oxford United Methodist Church, 105 W McClanahan St

2/28/2024: 12:30 p.m. – 5 p.m., Thornton Branch, 210 Main Street

Oxford Prep School

SportsTalk: Oxford Prep Softball Looking For Back To Back Championships

It’s never easy to repeat as a champion, but Oxford Prep Softball Coach Tommy Anstead feels as though his team has a pretty good chance to win a conference championship in 2024.  “We have 12 or 13 girls returning including all of our starters except one,” Anstead said on Thursday’s SportsTalk.

The team is counting on another strong performance from pitcher Addison Faucette.  Last season, as a freshman, Faucette was 16-3 on the year with an earned run average of 1.79.   Oxford Prep can hit the ball too.  “We had seven players with a batting average of over .300 and of the seven, four were over .400,” Anstead said.

Anstead expects tough competition this season citing Roxboro and Vance Charter as teams that could cause problems for Oxford Prep this season. Anstead also says the team has a tougher schedule this season.  Oxford Prep opens the season on March 1st against county rival J.F. Webb.