Regional Economic Dev. Summit to Feature Bestselling Author

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-Information courtesy the Henderson-Vance County Chamber of Commerce

You are invited to attend an exciting Regional Economic Development Summit at McGregor Hall Performing Arts Center on Thursday, February 20, 2020, from 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. This is a free event with lunch included.

The summit is a five-county regional event, being planned by the Henderson-Vance County Chamber of Commerce and Vance County Economic Development, along with the Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments, and the other Chambers and EDC offices in Franklin, Granville, Warren, and Person Counties.

This is a “must-attend” event for business owners, developers, manufacturing managers, small business owners, governmental leaders, etc.

There will be panel discussions and presentations concerning economic development program efforts that have been successful in other small, rural communities.

A highlight of the day will be the presentation by keynote speaker Doug Griffiths, an international speaker and author of the bestselling book “13 Ways to Kill Your Community.”

Michele Burgess, H-V Chamber President said, “When I was hired back at the Chamber in July, I heard about this book from some other Chamber presidents and immediately ordered it and read it. It’s incredible! Griffiths knows all the challenges we face in small communities, and he has good solutions to offer us on how to approach our economic development and make the improvements necessary in our mindset to turn our community into a thriving, beautiful, and progressive town.”

The event is free, but preregistration is required. You may register online at the Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments’ Focus 20/20 website (click here). The first 50 people to register and attend the summit will receive a free copy of Griffiths’ book “13 Ways to Kill Your Community.”

With questions, please call the H-V Chamber of Commerce at (252) 438-8414.

News 01/20/20

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Cameron Evans Turned Himself In 1-17-2020

— press release courtesy Vance County Sheriff Curtis Brame

On Friday, January 17, 2020, Cameron Evans of 194 Dixie Drive, Kittrell, North Carolina, 27544, turned himself into the Vance County Sheriff Office and was served several warrants for three counts robbery with a dangerous weapon, three counts of conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon, one count of attempted armed robbery with a dangerous weapon, five counts of second degree kidnapping, five counts of assault by pointing a gun.

These incidents occurred in Alamance, Davie, Pitt and Wake counties.  The robberies occurred between December 6, 2019 and January 8, 2020, which included four financial institutions.  The four financial institutions were Branch Banking & Trust (2), Wells Fargo and Sun Trust bank.

Evans was placed in the Vance County Detention Center under a $500.000.00 bond.

New VGCC Partnership with KARTS Makes Education More Accessible


-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Vance-Granville Community College recently launched a new partnership with KARTS, the public, rural transportation system, to help students travel to and from any of the college’s four campuses at no cost. Through the partnership, the college will use grant funds and donations to the VGCC Endowment Fund to pay for students to use KARTS.

“Transportation is just one non-academic barrier that can make it difficult for rural citizens to make use of their community college,” said Dr. Rachel Desmarais, president of VGCC. “We are thankful for KARTS’ willingness to partner with us to reduce this barrier. We also appreciate our generous donors and grantors who are making this opportunity possible. VGCC is committed to student access and success!”

Students can now make appointments for KARTS to pick them up by calling 252-438-2573 and then dialing “0”. If students need to cancel appointments, they can call the same number. Appointment timeslots are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m, Monday through Friday. Appointments can be made up to two weeks in advance. Service requests for the following day are taken no later than 1 p.m., or as capacity allows.

Students can request tickets on campus from any VGCC employee. Once students have these fare tickets, they must present their VGCC student IDs, along with the tickets, when boarding the KARTS transportation bus. They must be on time, because drivers will wait approximately two minutes, and students who do not show up for scheduled appointments three times are subject to be prohibited from using this service in the future.

Current pickup/drop-off locations on campus are below:

  • VGCC Main Campus (Vance County), in front of Building 7;
  • VGCC Franklin Campus (Louisburg), in front of Building 1;
  • VGCC South Campus (Butner/Creedmoor), in front of Building 1 by the flag pole; and
  • VGCC Warren Campus (Warrenton), between Buildings 2 and 3.

College officials said that there is the potential for more locations to be added in the future.

“We, as a college, are thrilled to provide transportation, at no cost, to current and future students,” said Dawn Michelle Tucker, VGCC’s Dean of Continuing Education and College & Career Readiness. “We know transportation is a major challenge that many students face and we are pleased to be able to partner with KARTS to offer this solution.”

“Our partnership with KARTS provides an even greater opportunity for our communities to access higher education and obtain a college credential,” said Kali Brown, VGCC’s Dean of Student Access & Support.

Working to remove the lack of transportation as an obstacle to receiving higher education and job training is just one aspect of the community college’s commitment to student support. Numerous types of financial aid and scholarships, including the unique “VanGuarantee” program, are available to help students pay for classes. Free tutoring services, library services (on all campuses and online) and career services are also among a variety of resources for students.

“Excessive absences are often a leading contributor to non-completion of community college education,” said VGCC Vice President of Workforce and Community Engagement Jerry Edmonds. “Therefore, VGCC is delighted to partner with KARTS in providing transportation to our growing population of students.”

KARTS is a service of the Kerr Area Transportation Authority. Its mission is “to provide safe, dependable and accessible transportation services in the most efficient and effective manner possible in order to improve mobility, support livable communities, enhance local economies, and provide opportunities to expand horizons of the citizens of Franklin, Granville, Vance and Warren Counties.” Those are the same four counties served by VGCC.

All KARTS rides are provided on a scheduled/reserved basis, with fees based on mileage from point of origin to destination.

Henderson Men’s Shelter in Need of Volunteers for Winter Season

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-Information courtesy Community Partners of Hope

The Henderson Men’s Shelter needs the community’s help with providing supervision for the shelter for the remainder of the winter season. Our supply of volunteers and partner churches has slowly eroded to the point that we cannot find volunteers to cover all of the nights.

We have a responsibility to provide coverage, even when there are no volunteers, and we need additional monies for unforeseeable occurrences – especially “white flag” days and nights where the temperature falls below 28 degrees.

We are already paying staff for one of the two slots needed for each shift – this has added continuity and much smoother shelter operations. We had hoped to use volunteers for the additional coverage so that we always have two people supervising.

On most nights, one person would be enough if we could guarantee there would be no emergency, but though they are rare, emergencies do happen and we need to be ready to deal with them.

The Board of Directors has decided to approve paying one of our part-time staff members to cover additional nights when we cannot find volunteers. Hopefully, more volunteers will step up and we won’t have to resort to this too often – but frankly, we do not have the funding in our budget for this need.

We are already committed to replacing the failing roof on Hope House and even though much of the material has been donated, we still will have considerable costs.


Please consider taking a volunteer shift or asking your church to get involved to take a few nights (just MTWTH each week).

We are running a Facebook fundraiser which gives us 100% of the payments received via credit card on a secure platform.

Checks can also be made payable to CPOH and mailed to:

Community Partners of Hope, Inc

P.O. Box 1791

Henderson, NC 27536

You can view the volunteer schedule on the shelter calendar by clicking here or call Jane at (252) 432-9494.

Vance County Democratic Party to Meet Jan. 23

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-Information courtesy Marcia Allen, Vance County Democratic Party

The Vance County Democratic Party will meet Thursday, January 23, 2020, at 6:30 p.m. in the Commissioner’s room in the old courthouse. The elevator is in service for persons with mobility issues.

Discussions will include precinct organizations.

Officers are needed and all Democrats are asked to attend. Questions can be directed to Acting Chairperson, Marcia Allen at [email protected] or 252-767-5195.

Vance Co. Board of Commissioners to Hold Planning Retreat

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-Information courtesy Kelly H. Grissom, Clerk to Board/Executive Asst., County of Vance

The Vance County Board of Commissioners will meet Tuesday, January 21 and Monday, February 10, 2020, for a planning retreat. The two-day retreat will be held in the Farm Bureau Room of Perry Memorial Library in Henderson from 8:30 a.m. until 1 p.m.

According to the finalized agenda for the January 21 meeting, opening remarks by Gordon Wilder, chairman of the Board of Commissioners, and Jordan McMillen, Vance County Manager, will be followed by county department heads presenting their respective office’s accomplishments and priorities.

Order of Presentations: Animal Services, Frankie Nobles; Cooperative Extension, Turner Pride; Economic Development, Dennis Jarvis, II; Elections, Faye Gill; Emergency Operations (911), Brian Short; EMS, Javier Plummer; Finance, Katherine Bigelow; Fire Department, Chris Wright; Fire Marshal, Keith Duncan; Human Resources, Argretta Johen; Information Technology, Kevin Brown; Library, Patti McAnally; Maintenance/Security, Brad Weatherington; Planning & Development, Sherry Moss; Register of Deeds, Cassandra Neal; Sheriff’s Office & Jail, Sheriff Curtis Brame; Social Services, Denita Devega; Soil & Water, Jacob Wilkie; Solid Waste, Jason Falls; Tax Office, Porcha Brooks; Veterans Services, Linwood Martin.

Following department presentations, McMillen will review the 2019-2020 fiscal year goals. Lunch with department heads will conclude the meeting.

News 01/17/20

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Town Talk 01/16/20: Changes to Annual Chamber Banquet = Less Time, More Fun


Sandra Wilkerson, director of administration and events for the Henderson-Vance County Chamber of Commerce, appeared on WIZS Town Talk Thursday at 11 a.m.

Wilkerson invited representatives from local businesses, educational institutions, government entities and non-profit organizations to attend the Annual Membership Meeting and Banquet of the H-V Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, January 30, 2020.

The event will be held in the Civic Center at Vance-Granville Community College’s Main Campus in Henderson.

Addressing past comments made concerning the length of the annual banquet, Wilkerson said the Chamber’s planning committee has done its best to scale back the timing of the event while keeping the focus on business achievements and the much anticipated “Citizen of the Year” reveal.

“We are so excited to celebrate 82 years of local business achievements,” said Wilkerson. “The banquet is going to be different this year. Michele Burgess, president of the Chamber, has a new vision and we are going to do some exciting things to make it more fun and entertaining.”

New items include the addition of a social hour, featuring entertainment by Just Friends, an instrumental group with local members, to be held prior to the dinner meeting from 5 until 5:45 p.m.

Ticket holders are encouraged to come early to network and connect with local business leaders while enjoying a hot beverage bar, sponsored by Rose Oil Company, and appetizers, sponsored by Maria Parham Health.

“It’s a good event to network; it’s what the Chamber is all about,” Wilkerson said. “We have a lot of new leaders in the community and we are excited to introduce you to these people and have a chance to socialize.”

Seating for the buffet dinner, catered by Chamber member Ted Wheeler Catering, will begin promptly at 6 p.m.

In announcing the meeting plans, Burgess said in a statement to WIZS News, “This is a premier event for our Chamber of Commerce. I was excited when our Board of Directors made the decision not to bring in an outside featured speaker this year but chose instead to put our focus primarily on all the positive changes and plans that are being made in our community and at our Chamber. This year’s annual meeting and banquet promises to be informative, motivational, entertaining and fun along with a shorter time frame.”

Nancy Wykle, publisher of The Daily Dispatch and current volunteer chair of the Chamber’s Board of Directors, will offer highlights from the organization’s 2019 year and will pass the gavel to incoming 2020 Board Chairman Tyler Brewer.

Brewer, vice president of Brewer Cycles – a family business that has been in operation in Vance County for almost 40 years, will discuss the Chamber’s 2020 vision and its future plans for growth.

Other program highlights will include a musical performance by the Vance County High School Chorus and the announcement of the Chamber’s Ambassador of the Year and 2019 Vance County Citizen of the Year award recipients. There will also be drawings for door prizes.

Tickets for the event are $35 each and tables of 10 can be reserved for $320. Tickets are still available and can be purchased this week by calling the Chamber office at (252) 438-8414 or by email: [email protected]

Banquet sponsors include:

Presenting Sponsor – Duke Energy

Gold Level – Walmart Distribution, Mars and Benchmark Community Bank

Silver Level – Wake Electric, Maria Parham Health and Truist Bank (formerly BB&T)

Bronze Level: EnviroLink

Members of the Annual Meeting Planning Committee include Micheal Shaw (Maria Parham Health), Julia Langston (Kerr Lake Country Club), Ana Vaughan (Mars), John Charles Rose (WIZS Radio), Nancy Wykle (The Daily Dispatch), Stephanie Hoyle (Century 21 Country Knolls Realty), Melissa Paul (ServPro), Gayle Watkins (Rose Oil Company) and Diane Finch (former Chamber of Commerce President).

To hear the interview with Wilkerson in its entirety, go to and click on Town Talk. Wilkerson’s segment begins at the 16:55 mark.

Ministerial Alliance Invites Community to MLK, Jr. Program at First Baptist

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-Information courtesy the Vance County Arts Council

The Henderson Vance & Adjacent Counties Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance invites the community to the Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Appreciation Program on Sunday, January 19, 2020.

This celebration of King’s legacy will be held at 4 p.m. at First Baptist Church in Henderson – 205 Winder Street across from the McGregor Hall Performing Arts Center.

Guest speaker will be Rev. Lamont Johnson, pastor of West Durham Baptist Church and professor at Shaw University.

For more information, please call (252) 213-0206 or visit