Please Donate: ACTS Pantry Shelves “Dangerously Low – Again”

ACTS, the local food pantry, needs donations, and director Lee Anne Peoples has issued a plea on social media, along with some suggestions to create friendly competitions among different groups in the community. Peoples said the shelves are “dangerously low again,” and has asked for help.

“Please consider picking up a few of these items or even making it a friendly competition between churches, Sunday School classes, couples in a Supper Club, co-workers or any other groups, to see who can collect the most items,” Peoples wrote in a social media post Thursday.

Items may be brought to the food pantry, located at 201 S. William St. any weekday between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. Call 252.492.8231 to learn more.

The list below contains suggestions. Please consider placing a couple of extra items in your shopping cart this weekend to donate to ACTS, which also serves a hot lunch during the week in addition to distributing boxes of shelf-stable food to those in need.


  • Items needed:
  • Ramen noodles
  • Pudding cups
  • Any type of canned meat
  • Canned fruit
  • Sized packs of cookies
  • Any type of canned soups
  • Packs of crackers
  • Juice pouches
  • Small boxes of cereal
  • Instant oatmeal packets
  • Dry pasta
  • Sugar – white or brown
  • Canned potatoes
  • 18 oz jar peanut butter
  • 18-20 oz jelly
  • Canned yams
  • Canned baked beans or pork & beans
  • Canned beans – black eyed peas and pinto
  • Crackers, in sleeves
  • Canned greens (collards spinach, turnips, etc.)
  • Canned diced tomatoes, carrots, peas
  • Dried beans
  • Canned mixed vegetables and creamed corn
  • #10 (gallon) cans of any fruit or vegetable
Vance County High School

SportsTalk: Elliott Prepares Vipers For Homecoming Game Against Louisburg

The Vance County Vipers got the proverbial monkey off their backs with a thrilling 14-12 victory of Southern Durham last week at Viper Stadium.  “Our kids, they were focused all week. They came in and did what they were supposed to do,” Coach Aaron Elliott said on Thursday’s SportsTalk.

Southern Durham beat the Vipers twice last year but with last week’s win the Vipers are now 5-0 and ranked 29th in the state.  The Vipers will put that unblemished record on the line this Friday night as they take on the Louisburg Warriors in another important conference game.  Coach Elliott was with the Warriors for many years before coming to Vance County but doesn’t see the familiarity between him and Louisburg coach Dante Lassister having much impact on the game. “It will cancel each other out.  They run the same offense as we do and the same defense as we do.  There might be a few wrinkles,” Elliott said.

The weather could be a factor tomorrow night but Elliott said that they are prepared to go ahead with the game and festivities of Homecoming.  “The game starts at 7pm and fireworks will happen after the game. A lot has gone into this to get it ready,” Elliott said.

Join Bill Harris and Doc Ayscue for live coverage of the game between Vance County and Louisburg starting immediately following the Joy Christian Center broadcast around 6:50pm here on WIZS on Vance County Friday Night Football.


The Local Skinny! Pop The Hood Change Your Oil

For our sponsor, Advance Auto Parts, as part of a paid radio sponsorship on WIZS.

These days, our vehicles do a good job of telling us when it’s time to change the oil. Most vehicle experts agree that changing the oil in a timely manner is one of the best things a car or truck owner can do to extend the life of a vehicle’s engine.

If you’re the type of vehicle owner who likes to tackle this task yourself, trust the folks at Advance Auto Parts to help you choose the proper type of oil – there are so many options!

Manufacturers may recommend synthetic oil for newer models, but that sweet ’65 Mustang parked in the garage may need a conventional oil.

Remember, think safety first when changing the oil yourself. Even if you don’t need to jack the vehicle, it may be a good idea to put a jack in place, just in case.

And chock the wheels for good measure.

Use a drain pan to catch the oil once the plug is removed – and make sure that the old gasket comes off the block when you remove the oil filter!

Give the oil 15 minutes or so to drain and then you can install the new filter.

DIY’ers know to rub a little fresh oil around the seal, take care not to cross thread or overtighten.

Advance Auto Parts is a great place to bring that reclaimed oil for proper disposal.

Tune in to this week’s Pop the Hood segment for a step-by-step “how-to” for changing the oil in your car or truck.

The information contained in this post is not advice from Advance Auto Parts or WIZS.  Safety First!  Always seek proper help.  This is presented for its informational value on and is part of a paid advertising sponsorship.




Join In For CommUNITY Cleanup Day Friday, Sept. 29

Don’t be a litterbug. It’s that simple. But it’s easier said than done. Unsightly trash along roadsides or sidewalks detracts from the overall beauty of a downtown street or neighborhood.

Whether you live, work or go to school in the city of Henderson, you’re invited to take part in CommUNITY Cleanup Day on Friday, Sept. 29.

Last year, individuals from the community joined forces with city employees to collect more than one ton of trash – that’s more than 2,000 pounds.

This is an opportunity to work together to clean streets, neighborhoods and any identified areas in need of trash removal.

Contact Cindy Norwood, executive assistant to City Manager Terrell Blackmon, to learn more about joining the CommUNITY event, by calling 252.430.5700 or emailing

TownTalk: Ward 4 At-Large Candidates Answer Questions

Note: This is the fifth of five TownTalk segments to provide election coverage for the upcoming Oct. 10 municipal elections in Henderson. Today, we’ll hear from the candidates for the Ward 4 at-large seat.

WIZS posed the same questions to all 17 candidates running for the five races – mayor, Ward 1 and Ward 2 seats, as well as the at-large seats in Wards 3 and 4.

Some of the candidates responded to the questions in written form and others were recorded in phone interviews and their responses were transcribed for inclusion in this story. Online readers will notice direct quotes in the answers; information not in direct quotes is paraphrased to provide concise text and readability.

The candidates’ responses appear in alphabetical order, beginning with George Daye, and continuing with Tami Walker. Lora Durham, who also filed for the Ward 4 at-large seat, did not provide responses, despite numerous attempts to reach her by phone call, text message, email and correspondence via the U.S. Postal Service.

Early voting begins Thursday, Sept. 21 and ends Oct. 7.

1.   Why are you running for elected office?

George Daye: “I filed because I was interested in going back (on the City Council) and wanted to work with the new manager. The day I filed, that was what I wanted.” He said that when sitting Council member Jason Spriggs filed for mayor, he was spurred on to file for the seat he had previously held.  “Jason filed for the mayor role and I just feel like I could go there and do some good,” Daye said.

Tami Walker: “I am running for elected office because I have served my country and now I am ready to serve my hometown community.”

2.  What’s your platform?

Daye: Daye acknowledged in a telephone interview that he had second thoughts about filing for the Ward 4 at-large seat, but “if they vote for me, I’ll do the best I can.”

Walker: Walker listed the following topics: Senior citizens’ rights and assistance, assisting hometown veterans, the disabled and active-duty, as well as support and inclusion of youth. “Children deserve a great education, neighborhood and support system of family and friends to develop into great citizens,” Walker said.

3.  What are the top three issues that, in your opinion, this city faces in the next two years?  Five years?

Neither candidate directly addressed the question about the top three issues that Henderson faces in the near future.

4.   As an elected official, how will you address these issues?

Daye: Daye said that, during his previous term on the City Council, he strived to be attentive during meetings to conduct the business of the city. “When I was on the council, I was in business. I saw some people that were sitting in the council meeting and (they) would answer their telephones. I thought that was a disgrace. Despite effects of severe asthma, Daye said he took his role seriously.

Walker: Walker stated that she would address the issues through “education and action (and by) using the resources available to me as an elected official. “

5.  What is your experience in the public sector?

Daye: Daye has served previously on the City Council in the Ward 4 at-large seat. He opted not to run for re-election when Jason Spriggs showed interest in running for the seat.

Walker: “ I am a retired veteran, a Vance County schools retiree, a volunteer and humanitarian. I enjoy interacting with the public sector.”

6.  If you are a newcomer to politics, what role do you see yourself playing as a member of an elected body?

Walker: “I see myself as a team member listening to my community, and doing my best to grow in my role, while using resources to find resolutions to the issues that my community brings forth.”

7.  Please share any additional information you want voters to know about you.

Daye: “When I went and filed,” Daye said, “I was gung ho” to run for Council. But, he said, “the spirit hasn’t hit me yet to get out there and fight for that position.” If he is elected, however, he said he would do his best to serve the people of Henderson.

Walker: Walker said she looks forward to serving her community as a Council member. “This is my neighborhood and my community,” she stated. (It’s) where I grew up. The people are nice and welcoming. Growing up near Pinkston Street School, Walker said she could hear the school bell ring from her house.  It was a short walk to elementary school for her in 1974 or 1975, right after integration, and then she walked a little farther to Henderson Junior High. “I had one of the best childhood ever,” she said.


The Local Skinny! Relay For Life To Take Place September 30th

The Vance County Relay for Life is resuming its efforts after several years of reduced activity because of pandemic restrictions. The entire community is invited to the Henderson Family YMCA on Saturday, Sept. 30 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. to participate, honor and remember.

Freddie Harris and Donald Matthews shared details about the event on Wednesday’s segment of The Local Skinny!

“I believe this will be great start for Relay for Life coming back to Vance County, said Harris, one of the organizers from St. James Missionary Baptist Church that is sponsoring the event. There will be an opening ceremony and luminaria lining the track, with lots of activities in between.

The theme is Uniting in Hope, Empowering Together, she said. The main word is hope, Harris said.

Hope is the key word, Harris said. “I’m hoping that hope will inspire people and that people will feel hopeful from this event,” she said.
“Not just cancer survivors, but the city and the county. We really need to come together.”

Donald Matthews remembers the Relay events of some years ago when thousands of people would gather to participate. He was in charge of logistics, and it was challenging to organize 75 or more teams and have them in the right place at the right time.

There are currently nine teams signed up to participate, but the event can accommodate more.

The event is open to the whole community, and Matthews invites other churches, businesses and individuals to take part.

“Just because COVID stopped (us), cancer didn’t stop,” he said. “Our goal is, one day, to work ourselves out of a job. I’d like to see (cancer) eradicated, if I’ve got anything to do with it,” he said.

Harris invites the community to come out and show support for cancer survivors.

Cancer survivors like herself, a two-time cancer survivor.

“We want everybody to come out and be a part of it,” she said.

To register a team, call the American Cancer Society at 800.227.2345 or visit  to find out more, make a donation or purchase a luminary.

Luminary bags are $10 each, 3 for $25 or $25 for one gold luminary.










FVW Opportunity Inc. Offers ‘YouthBuild’ Program For Vance County Youth

Franklin Vance Warren Opportunity, Inc. has a special program designed to help young people overcome obstacles to employment and develop valuable skills to help keep them in the workforce.

The YouthBuild program is for Vance County residents ages 16-24 who want to get their GED and who are interested in a career in construction.

Income levels or even past criminal history may not disqualify individuals from enrolling in the program. All accepted participants will obtain a national construction certificate while working toward GED completion.

Participants will network with business leaders through the program and will receive employment placement assistance upon successful program completion.

Don’t wait! Call 252.492.0161 to learn more.

TownTalk: Ward 3 At-Large Candidates Answer Questions

Note: This is the fourth of five TownTalk segments to provide election coverage for the upcoming Oct. 10 municipal elections in Henderson. Today, we’ll hear from the candidates for the Ward 3 at-large seat.

WIZS posed the same questions to all 17 candidates running for the five races – mayor, Ward 1 and Ward 2 seats, as well as the at-large seats in Wards 3 and 4.

Some of the candidates responded to the questions in written form and others were recorded in phone interviews and their responses were transcribed for inclusion in this story. Online readers will notice direct quotes in the answers; information not in direct quotes is paraphrased to provide concise text and readability.

The candidates’ responses appear in alphabetical order, beginning with Kory Franklin and continuing with Michelle Horner Wood. Candidate Michael Venable did not provide any information, despite numerous attempts to contact him by phone, text, email and hand delivery of a written request for information.

Early voting begins Thursday, Sept. 21 and ends Oct. 7.

1.  Why are you running for elected office?

Kory Franklin: “Family and accountability are not just values to me; they are the very essence of my commitment to public service. I come from a family deeply dedicated to city governance, and I’ve witnessed firsthand the incredible impact of community-driven initiatives that address the real needs of our people. I firmly believe that Henderson has the potential to become a thriving city, but it begins with us. To address the challenges and opportunities before us, we must first embody these core values of family, accountability, self-respect, and respect for others.”

Michelle H. Wood: “I am running for City Council Ward 3 at-large. I am here to listen to the people and be a voice for them. The citizens of Henderson feel they are not heard – that is heartbreaking. I want to work with fellow City Council members to achieve what is important to the citizens of Henderson to bring a better quality of life to everyone (who) calls Henderson home.” She said she is eager to share ideas about how to bring positive momentum to help Henderson become the best it can be.”

2.  What’s your platform?

 Franklin: “As I embark on my journey into public office, I am passionate about continuing the legacy of community service. I’m driven to apply the knowledge and values I’ve gained to confront the pressing issues of our time. From promoting economic growth and addressing housing affordability to ensuring educational excellence, enriching our cultural landscape, and implementing programs to inspire our youth and reduce crime.  I am convinced that together, we can build a stronger and more vibrant community where every resident has the opportunity to thrive. Remember, when people take pride in their city, they become deeply invested in its well-being and growth. Let’s stand together as OneCity, OnePeople, and make our vision for Henderson a reality.”

Wood: “We need rising wages inside the city of Henderson rather than a rising crime rate. (We need) equal and fair housing opportunities for everyone with proper code enforcement…put local government back to work for the citizens of Henderson.”

3.  What are the top three issues that, in your opinion, this city faces in the next two years?  Five years?

Franklin: Franklin identified top issues for the city which include reducing crime, having more affordable housing, cleaner neighborhoords, economic growth, responsible budgeting, mental health programs and tackling prejudice.

Wood: Wood said addressing the issue of affordable and safe housing will take years to correct. “There are people living in houses that are deplorable,” she said. Henderson certainly isn’t the only city that experiences crime, and Wood said she believes that the city can “create activities and safe places for the young people to go. Also, working to fill all the open positions for the police and sheriff department” is a priority. Wood also identified the division within the city as an issue to address. “I want to unite the people. We are children of God and I want to create an environment of equality. Everyone in this city and county is important,” she said.

4.  As an elected official, how will you address these issues?

Franklin: “Crime is undoubtedly a pressing issue in our city, but addressing it goes hand in hand with providing our youth with meaningful alternatives. We must recognize that the absence of programs such as sports, summer camps, arts, music, and technology initiatives can inadvertently push our young folks toward criminal activities. Policing alone won’t resolve this problem; what we truly need are programs that not only deter crime but also instill values of commitment, growth, teamwork, confidence, and opportunities for a brighter future.”
He called affordable housing. “vital component of our community’s well-being.” We need housing initiatives that offer stability and security, allowing homeowners and renters to weather unexpected challenges without facing financial ruin. “Clean and safe neighborhoods are crucial for our collective pride. We should all take pride in keeping our neighborhoods clean, ensuring they are places where families can thrive and feel safe. Encouraging community involvement in neighborhood clean-up efforts can make a significant difference.” Fostering economic growth, investing in mental health programs and responsible city budgeting also are key components that Franklin identified as key issues. To foster economic growth, we need to encourage, support, and train residents to become entrepreneurs and small business owners. I know our city is filled with innovative minds they just don’t know how to start.  “Prejudice is a challenge we must confront head-on. It’s a choice we can make—to respect and value one another regardless of our differences. Promoting diversity and inclusion should be a priority, and we can do this through education and community and cultural events, featuring music, food, games, arts, and crafts, can strengthen our bonds as a community.”

Wood: Housing is holding landlords accountable, Wood said, but also (holding accountable) homeowners to make sure people are safe. Whether renting or owning a home, residents should be responsible for keeping the property clean and should keep trash picked up. “Crime is always going to be a work in progress,” Wood said. “I want to have quarterly street meetings – meeting people where they are,” she said. “I enjoy getting out there visiting people. Some of the best conversations are held on citizens’ porches. This will help with the division in our city as well.”

5.  What is your experience in the public sector?

Franklin: “My father’s remarkable 30-year tenure as the chief of Economic and Housing Development in our city taught me the profound difference that public service can make in transforming a community. Growing up in this environment, I learned early that self-respect and respect for others are not just ideals; they are essential qualities that underpin a thriving community.”

Wood: “My heart has always been with the public sector, although I have not held an official position. I have been in many leadership positions in my life,” she said, including being a lay speaker at her church, youth leader, store manager and currently as director of operations for Ruin Creek Animal Protection Society. Wood said she has been attending City Council meetings as a citizen for the past two or more years.

6.  If you are a newcomer to politics, what role do you see yourself playing as a member of an elected body?

Franklin: “My role as a newcomer to politics is all about being committed to actively engaging with our residents and constituents to identify gaps and find the solutions that make a difference. We’ll work together to support sustainable economic growth, find solutions to make housing more affordable, champion quality education for our youth, and ensure that cultural enrichment remains a fundamental part of our community.”

Wood: Her role as a member of an elected body, she said, is “to voice the important matters for the people of my ward and the whole city. I am here to ensure policies are being upheld. The city has many tools available to correct most of the problems. The ordinances and policies are there,” she said, it’s a matter of holding the correct people/persons accountable.

7.  Please share any additional information you want voters to know about you.

Franklin: “I wholeheartedly invite you to join me on this transformative journey to create a city that we can all be proud to call home. Together, we will uphold the values of family, accountability, self-respect, and respect for others, shaping a brighter future for us all.”

Wood: Wood, a lifelong resident of Vance County, has lived in Ward 3 since 1999. She is a 1991 graduate of Southern Vance High School and attended Vance Granville Community College. She is married to Barry Wood, also a lifelong resident of Henderson. Candidate Wood works for Ruin Creek Animal Protection Society as the director of operation of the non-profit organization. Wood stated that there is a need for effective leadership and common sense, fair policy making for everyone involved.