Winter Weather

Broken Tree Limbs from Winter Storms Can Cause Damage

Once again this weekend Old Man Winter is about to pay central North Carolina a visit.  Last weekend the Vance County area experienced snow, sleet and freezing rain along with some breezy conditions. Paul McKenzie of the Vance Co. Extension Service explained on today’s Home and Garden Show during The Local Skinny! that large shade trees can be damaged by winter storms. “After a winter storm of any type, particularly with ice and wind, you should check those large shade trees for broken limbs and branches,” McKenzie said. “Obviously, the ones that are on the ground are easy to spot but, the ones stuck in a tree are much harder,” McKenzie continued.

Eventually, due to more wind or with the passage of time, these limbs and branches will eventually fall. The danger is that they could fall on an out building, your home or vehicle. More importantly, they may fall on a pet or a person causing injury.

“If you see anything you can’t handle with a pole saw, keeping your feet on the ground, you should hire a trained professional to take care of the limbs,” McKenzie said.

The Lawn and Garden Show can be heard on WIZS as part of the Local Skinny! every Wednesday at 11:30am on WIZS 1450am, 100.1fm and online at


Possibility Of Winter Storm Prompts Council To Reschedule Planning Retreat

The Henderson City Council’s annual strategic planning retreat has been rescheduled to late February, based on the possibility of inclement weather. The retreat had been schedule d for tomorrow and Friday, but city officials said it would now take place on Feb. 24 and 25. Start times and location will remain the same.

The retreat will be held at Henderson Country Club. Thursday’s meeting will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday’s session will begin at 8:30 a.m. and conclude at 12:45 p.m., according to information from City Clerk Esther J. McCrackin.

The public is invited to observe the retreat sessions, but the meeting will not be livestreamed; it will be in-person only.

Kerr Tar Regional Council of Governments

TownTalk: Beth Davis Talks Kerr-Tar Regional Council Of Governments

The Kerr-Tar Council of Governments provides assistance to a cross-section of the community, and part of Beth Davis’s job as regional engagement specialist is to share information about what the agency can do for residents in the counties it serves

The local COG serves five counties – Vance, Granville, Franklin, Warren and Person – and Davis said Wednesday that there are programs and services that benefit individuals, municipalities as well as businesses.

“We are always very busy,” Davis told John C. Rose on Wednesday’s Town Talk. There are 16 COGs in the state which received $10 million to help with American Rescue Plan, and another $6 million in disaster, recovery, resilience and mitigation monies to assist in local pandemic recovery efforts.

The Kerr-Tar COG is doing things to make the community a better place to live, Davis said. And that’s something that she enjoys spreading the word about.

“We have a lot of great services and programs for folks in our counties. We’re not a secret,” she said, adding that there are a lot of services that are of great help to the community. “How can you not get excited about that?”

Individuals can get help from Kerr-Tar through a variety of programs – from getting help creating a job resume to taking part in a walking program for people with arthritis to improve physical health.

The NCWorks agency is a part of the local COG, Davis said, which helps to connect employers with qualified candidates. In addition to workforce staff in the Kerr-Tar office, there are three career centers where people looking for help with finding a job. The Oxford location is at Hilltop on Hwy 158, the Henderson location is on Beckford Drive and the Warren location is on the campus of VGCC in Warrenton.

Traditionally, January is a “big time of year when people are looking for a change. It’s a good time to contact the workforce development office” for help in finding a job, she said.

Individuals also can get guidance about resources for seniors through the Area Agency on Aging. The agency is looking to hire an aging specialist, she said, but resources include family caregiver support and an ombudsman to help family members who have complaints about facilities.

Municipalities can get help with grant-writing and the Kerr-Tar planning and economic development arm facilitates a wide range of issues, from providing diversity, equity and inclusion training to spotlighting the use of electric vehicles and other alternate transportation such as bicycle and pedestrian plans.

Visit to find out more and to view the monthly newsletter that lists many of the opportunites and upcoming events in the COG service area. There’s also a very active and up-to-date Facebook page that contains details of events.

For those who prefer telephones to computers or social media. Davis said a simple call to the office at 252.436.2040 can get you connected to services and information.



Unashamed Plan Shows Around Local Area

For fans of Southern Gospel Music the Unashamed Southern Gospel Quartet has announced three shows in the coming weeks. The first of these will be at Eastside Baptist Church in Henderson on Sunday, January 30th and will begin at 6pm.  Wednesday, February 23rd will find Unashamed in Raleigh at Western Blvd. Presbyterian Church and the third show will be held in Franklinton at Franklinton Baptist Church on Sunday, March 20th at 2pm.

Vance County Logo

Transformed Eaton Johnson Campus Getting Ready For New Life To Serve Community

The next few days are moving days for employees of the local department of social services, senior center and youth services as they transition from their old office spaces to their renovated spaces on the campus of the former Eaton Johnson Middle School.

Local officials gathered last week for a ribbon-cutting at the new facility, and County Manager Jordan McMillen said that it took a lot of work from a lot of entities to transform a former school building to a facility to serve the community.

McMillen thanked the county’s school board and county commissioners for helping to make the project a reality. “Putting a large, vacant school facility into reuse is always a challenge and…ultimately, we were able to take an existing facility in North Henderson and put it back into use. This was a win-win-win for the school board, the county as well as the city of Henderson,” he said.

“This new DSS facility is state-of-the-art and will allow our DSS to better meet the needs of our citizens. The facility includes areas for various units to work together, includes training spaces, conference rooms, adequate office space and storage space, interview rooms, youth and children observation rooms and play areas. We are very proud to introduce this facility to the public,” McMillen stated during remarks at Friday’s ribbon-cutting.

This is the first phase of renovation, and McMillen said additional space will be reused as well.

The facility is 102,700 square feet, and less than 41,000 square feet was involved in this part of the renovation project – 39,000 for DSS and 1,800 for youth services – that leaves more than half of the total space available for renovated. McMillen said the plan is to use most of that space.

There are plans to lease out the kitchen space as a commercial kitchen and space to house a Headstart facility.

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TownTalk: Ruin Creek Animal Protection Society Continues Its Mission To Save Animals

The mission of Ruin Creek Animal Protection Society is to find homes for dogs and cats that, through no fault of their own, wind up at the Vance County Animal Shelter. RCAPS is in its 10th year of work in Vance County, and Brandon Boyd told Bill Harris on Tuesday’s Town Talk that a new facility is almost ready to further the RCAPS mission.

The construction phase is nearly complete to transform the former animal shelter facility on Vance Academy Road into a low cost spay and neuter clinic for dogs and cats.

Boyd said being a responsible pet owner can be expensive – from food and vet visits to spay and neuter procedures. But spaying and neutering is the best way to reduce the unwanted pet population, he said. And this low-cost clinic is one step toward supporting pet owners in this effort.

The weekly trips that RCAPS van driver James Jackson makes up the Northeast corridor takes adoptable animals as far away as New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania to find homes. It’s all possible through the generosity of local donors, Boyd said. From the weekly gas fillups from Rose Oil to videographer Dawn Hedgepeth who posts on Facebook Live each dog being crated and loaded on the van for their “freedom ride,” Boyd said he is thankful and appreciative of the local support that RCAPS enjoys.

“Ruin Creek is volunteer-strong and donor-supported,” he said. “Donors are the ones that make it possible.”

But when demand for companion animals – especially cats – there needs to be a different plan of action. “The (shelter’s) cat room has been full,” Boyd said, adding that the shelter staff and RCAPS has been working hard to find adoptive homes for them.

The spay and neuter clinic will hopefully be an avenue for residents to help reduce the unwanted pet population. “It’s a service we’re going to be able to provide to the citizens of Vance County,” Boyd said.

He called the feral cat situation in Vance County “rampant.”

“We’re very, very excited about it…within months, I hope we’re able to see the impact of this (clinic).”

He invited area vet techs and veterinarians to reach out to RCAPS at to learn more about how they can help with the clinic.



The Local Skinny! Around Old Granville: Tungsten Mine

Timing is everything, and for a couple of local gold prospectors back in 1942, that adage certainly rang true.

The Hamme brothers, Richard and Joe, didn’t find gold in the northwest part of Vance County, but what they did find certainly proved valuable and timely.

It wasn’t gold. But they found tungsten.

Mark Pace and Bill Harris talked about the origins of The Tungsten Mine near Townsville on the Around Old Granville segment of Tuesday’s The Local Skinny!

If you remember your world history, the U.S. and its Allied forces were in the middle of World War II in 1942. The Hamme brothers’ discovery came at a very opportune time – the U.S. military needed the tungsten to put on artillery tips. Tungsten is the hardest naturally occurring metal, Pace explained. The world’s tungsten supply was in control of various countries that supported the Axis armies, and the Allied forces needed access to tungsten.

“Within six weeks, the tungsten mine was in operation,” Pace said. It started out as an open mine pit, but soon a 1,700-foot deep shaft was dug and horizontal shafts extended from the single vertical shaft.

But it wasn’t so simple to get the tungsten out of the ground. “The problem was it was very labor intensive,” Pace said. The tungsten was embedded in clear quartz rock that is ubiquitous in the area. Workers had to pulverize the rock into a fine-grained sand. “And then (they’d) run a magnet across it,” Pace said. If you were to study a Google map of the area today, he said you’d see acres and acres of those quartz “tailings” at the site of the former mine, which closed permanently in 1971.

One other problem with the tungsten mine was that folks around here didn’t have much experience with mining. Many families relocated in the area after having worked for generations up in Mitchell County, NC in iron and feldspar mines.

Although there’s probably still plenty of tungsten to be had, there’s probably not much chance of the tungsten mine being reopened, Pace said.

But, just to be on the safe side, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built two dams during construction of Kerr Lake. And it’s the Island Creek Dam that is safeguarding from possible flooding the valley where the tungsten mine is located.

Just in case.





The Local Skinny! Jobs In Vance 01-18-22

The H-V Chamber of Commerce and WIZS, Your Community Voice, present Jobs in Vance for January 18th, 2022. The Chamber compiles the information, and it is presented here and on the radio. Contact the Henderson-Vance Chamber of Commerce at 438-8414 or email to be included.

JOB OPENINGS IN VANCE COUNTY – Week of January 18, 2022


Name of the Company: Boys &Girls Club

Jobs Available:  Office Administrator- responsible for managing daily operations of the Administrative Office. Provides regular clerical and administrative support, prepares correspondence and reports, maintains schedules and calendars, answers phones and maintains files. This is a part time position.

Method of Contact: Resumes can be sent to Connie Ranes at


Name of the Company:  Vance County Schools

Jobs Available: Secondary Classroom Teachers Grades 6-12. Offering $5,000.00 hiring bonus.

Method of Contact: Apply at and click on Job Opportunities


Name of the Company:  Outside the Box

Jobs Available: If you are creative and looking for a new career please apply immediately! This is a full time position.

Method of Contact: Apply at 340 Industry Drive behind Mako Labs anytime between 8:30 am and 5:00 pm.


Name of the Company: Variety Wholesalers   

Jobs Available: Has multiple openings for Buyers, Assistants and Warehouse Associates

Method of Contact:  Interested applicants can go to to apply or for more information contact Patricia Overton at 252-430-2042.


Name of the Company:  Vance County Government

Jobs Available: Positions are now available with Department of Social Services, Sheriff’s Department, Fire Department, Planning and Development, Emergency Operations, Register of Deeds and more

Method of Contact: For a list of all listings with job descriptions and qualifications go to Vance County website and look under job postings

Some of these businesses are present or past advertisers of WIZS.  Being an ad client is not a condition of being listed or broadcast.  This is not a paid ad.