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Governor Announces Additional Small Business Relief, Reopening of Large Outdoor Venues

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-Press Release, Office of Governor Roy Cooper

Some North Carolina small businesses that have experienced extraordinary disruption to their operations due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic may benefit from a $40 million relief program to help offset fixed costs like rent, mortgage interests and utility bills, Governor Roy Cooper announced.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy – powering our local communities and giving back in so many ways. They deserve our support, and this new initiative can help them weather this tough time,” said Governor Cooper.

The N.C. Mortgage, Utility and Rent Relief (MURR), administered by the North Carolina Department of Commerce, can provide up to $20,000 in relief funds per qualifying business location. Business applicants from certain industry sectors that have not been able to operate during the COVID period may apply for up to two of their business locations.

Applicants can apply for up to four months of mortgage interest or rent expenses, and utility expenses.  The help offers relief for some of the fixed costs a business cannot easily control on its own. Applications to the program should open next week and will be handled on a first-come, first-served basis. Applicants must certify that they were closed during the period April 1 through July 31, 2020; they expect to be able to operate after the COVID crisis has passed and they have not been reimbursed by any other federal source for the expenses for which they seek reimbursement through this program.

Eligible applicants include:

  • Amusement parks
  • Banquet Halls (with catering staff)
  • Bars, taverns, night clubs, cocktail lounges
  • Bingo parlors
  • Bowling alleys/centers
  • Dance halls
  • Indoor fitness and recreation centers
  • Motion picture/movie theaters (except drive-ins)
  • Museums

The Department of Commerce will begin accepting applications soon. Business leaders can learn about the MURR program by registering for one of the free educational webinars offered by the Department of Commerce over the next two weeks.

For the webinar schedule and additional information on the program, visit

Large, Outdoor Venues

Governor Cooper and NC DHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen also announced that effective October 2, large outdoor venues would be permitted to open at 7% capacity with key safety precautions in place. The announcement was made so these locations could begin putting safety measures in place in order to operate.

Large entertainment venues are those that can seat over 10,000.

“We will continue analyzing our data and indicators as we determine how to move forward safely in other areas that may be included in the new order on October 2. In it, we hope to ease some other restrictions, while still keeping safety protocols like masks, social distancing, and mass gathering limits in place,” said Governor Cooper.

”With more things open and people moving around more, we need everyone to stay vigilant about wearing a mask, waiting six feet apart, and washing their hands often,” said Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D. “Our progress is fragile and will take our continued hard to work to protect it.”

State and public health officials will continue watching the key COVID-19 trends over the next week to determine if any further restrictions can be eased when the current Executive Order expires on October 2 at 5 p.m.

Local News Audio

Local News Audio 9-22-20 Noon

Local News Audio.  WIZS – Your Community Voice.

  • Perry Memorial Library Reopens
  • Hungry Heroes BBQ in Henderson to Feed HPD; HFD Today
  • Veterans Dog Walk
  • VGCC Emiliano Dunton

Click Play to Listen to Full Details…


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GVPH COVID-19 Update: Cases, Hospitalizations, Deaths as of 9/21/20

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-Information courtesy Granville Vance Public Health

The following is an update for COVID-19 spread and response in Granville and Vance County as of September 21, 2020. Granville Vance Public Health numbers correlate with the NC Electronic Disease Surveillance System (NCEDSS) data.

The county case numbers reported on the NC county map from the NC Department of Health and Human Services may differ from the ones reported locally as they are updated at different times and may change once residence is verified.

Granville County

1,702 positive test results for COVID-19.

Of those 1,702, 1,042 are community-spread cases located across Granville County. Of those 1,042, 935 have been released from isolation.

Of those 1,702, 523 cases are affiliated with the prison system in Granville County and 494 of those 523 have been released from isolation.

Of those 1,702, 137 are associated with outbreaks at long term care facilities including 30 at Murdoch Development Center, two at Central Regional Hospital, one at Brantwood Nursing and Rehab Center and 96 at Universal Health Care.

The outbreak at Granville House is no longer active.

After consultation with NC DHHS, Whitmore Retirement Center is not classified as a long term care facility and therefore, the cases will not be reported as an outbreak.

Of the 137 cases in long term care facilities in Granville County, 87 have been released from isolation.

8 individuals in Granville County are hospitalized.

There have been a total of 49 deaths in Granville County: five in the community, one associated with Central Regional Hospital, one associated with Murdoch Development Center, 20 associated with Universal Health Care and 22 associated with the Bureau of Prisons Federal Correctional Complex. Unfortunately, a recent death has been reported associated with the outbreak at the prison: a 62-year-old male passed away on September 17.

Vance County

984 positive test results for COVID-19.

Of those 984, 859 are community-spread cases located across Vance County. Of those 859, 713 have been released from isolation.

Of those 984, 125 are associated with outbreaks at congregate living facilities including 49 cases associated with Kerr Lake Nursing Home.

The outbreaks at Alliance Rehabilitative Care, Senior Citizens Home, and Pelican Health nursing home are no longer active.

Of the 125 cases in congregate living facilities in Vance County, 96 have been released from isolation.

19 individuals in Vance County are hospitalized

There have been a total of 44 deaths in Vance County: 14 associated with the Pelican Health nursing home outbreak, 12 associated with Kerr Lake Nursing Home, two associated with Senior Citizens Home and 16 in the community. Unfortunately, another recent death has been reported from the community: a 56-year-old female passed away on September 20.

WIZS Note: There are 146 total known active cases in the Vance County community and 107 in the Granville County community at large at this time (excluding congregate living numbers). One additional COVID-19 related Vance County death and one additional Granville County death have been reported in the last eleven days,.

Additional Information

The number of those who have been ‘released from isolation’ is determined by the CDC Guidance for discontinuation of isolation for persons with COVID-19.

Please visit GVPH’s COVID-19 Data Dashboard (click here) for tables and graphs that are updated daily.

North Carolina will remain in Safer at Home Phase 2.5 through October 2, 2020. Face coverings are still mandatory in public places. To learn more about restrictions currently in place in North Carolina and the phased approach to lifting those restrictions, please visit Staying Ahead of the Curve.

Perry Memorial Library

Perry Memorial Releases Additional Info. on Library’s Reopening

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-Press Release, Perry Memorial Library

The Perry Memorial Library reopened to the public on September 21, 2020. The library will be open from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. and 2 – 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

There will be a number of measures in place to protect the safety of customers and staff, including:

  • Properly worn face coverings (over the nose and mouth) will be required;
  • Computer usage will be limited to 30 minutes a day with limited staff assistance available;
  • Curbside pick-up will continue and has been extended to 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Monday – Friday;
  • Browsing for materials will be available, but numbers allowed in the stacks at one time will be limited;
  • Some areas of the library, such as the history room, study rooms, and the quiet room will be unavailable;
  • There is limited seating available for Wi-Fi usage, however free Wi-Fi is available 24/7 in the parking areas of the library;
  • Programming will remain suspended and meeting rooms will be unavailable for the foreseeable future.

Protective barriers have been placed around the service desks and hand sanitizer is available in multiple locations in the library. Computer keyboards and mice will be sanitized between uses, and all library surfaces will be thoroughly cleaned during the midday closing and at the end of the day.

The library will continue to provide the Pop-Up Library in various locations throughout the community. People can check the library’s Facebook page for upcoming locations.

Visitors are encouraged to follow the “Three Ws” as outlined by the N.C. Dept. of Health and Human Services — wear a cloth face covering; wait in line at least six feet away from others; wash hands frequently or use hand sanitizer. Library visits should be postponed if experiencing symptoms of illness.

Founded in 1924, the Perry Memorial Library, located in downtown Henderson, serves as the only public library for the Vance County community. The library is located at 205 Breckenridge Street, Henderson, NC.  To learn more about the Perry Memorial Library, check the library’s website at, or follow the library on Facebook. You can also subscribe to library email updates on the website homepage.

I Voted Sticker

Middleburg’s St. United Church of Christ to Hold Voter’s Registration Drive

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-Information courtesy Diana Bobbitt, St. United Church of Christ

A Voter’s Registration Drive will be held in the fellowship hall of St. United Church of Christ on Wednesday, September 30, 2020, from 4 – 7 p.m. The church is located at 292 N. Lee Avenue in Middleburg, NC.

If you have not registered, this will be a good time to get registered to vote in the 2020 election.
Maria Parham Health

Maria Parham Health Nationally Recognized as a Best Maternity Care Hospital by Newsweek


-Press Release, Maria Parham Health

Maria Parham Health was named to Newsweek’s 2020 list of Best Maternity Care Hospitals. The distinction recognizes facilities that have excelled in providing care to mothers, newborns and their families, as verified by the 2019 Leapfrog Hospital Survey. Best Maternity Care Hospitals is part of Newsweek’s Best Health Care series, powered by data from The Leapfrog Group.

“Best Maternity Care Hospitals showcases an elite group of hospitals from across the country,” said Nancy Cooper, Global Editor in Chief of Newsweek. “These facilities stand out for the care they provide to women and families, and for giving babies a strong start to life. Particularly in these uncertain times, we are honored to share this list of top-ranked facilities with Newsweek’s readership.”

“The birth of a child should be a wonderful, life-changing time for a mother and her whole family. It is a time of new beginnings, of fresh hopes and new dreams, of change and opportunity” said Bert Beard, CEO of Maria Parham Health. “Our team works tirelessly to make sure every mother and child that we see receives the highest standard of care. We are extremely proud to be recognized as a leader in maternity care in our country.”

Hospitals named as a Best Maternity Care Hospital have fully met The Leapfrog Group’s standards for maternity care on evidence-based, nationally standardized metrics. This includes lower rates of early elective delivery, NTSV C-section, and episiotomy, as well as compliance with process measures including newborn bilirubin screening prior to discharge and blood clot prevention techniques for mothers delivering via C-section.

Maria Parham Health was one of fewer than 250 nationwide to receive the prestigious accolade. The full list of recipients appeared in the July 24 edition of Newsweek, available online and at newsstands nationwide.

Delivering more than 500 babies per year, Maria Parham’s team consists of OB-GYNs Dr. Weldon Hampton, MD and Dr. Emma White, DO, family medicine practitioners Dr. Vu, MD, Dr. Higgins, MD, and Dr. Dieter, MD, midwives Janice Martinez, MSN, CNM, and Karen Maclean, MSN, CNM, nurse practitioners, Estena Bradley, WHNP-BC, Crystal  Minor, WHNP-BC, pediatricians Dr. Sylvia, MD and Dr. Ahmed, MD and specially trained nurses and staff.

Maria Parham provides a variety of care and services for mother and baby, including prenatal care, education, labor & delivery, breastfeeding support by certified lactation consultants, and inpatient pediatric program.

To learn more about Maria Parham’s Mother & Baby services, visit

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Henderson City Council to Hold Second CDBG-Coronavirus Public Hearing

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-Information courtesy the City of Henderson

Henderson Mayor Eddie Ellington has requested a Special Called Meeting of the Henderson City Council for Wednesday, September 23, 2020, at 12 p.m.

The purpose of this meeting is to hold a second Public Hearing regarding the submission of a Community Development Block Grant Coronavirus (CDBG-CV) to the North Carolina Department of Commerce Rural Economic Development Division.

This meeting will be held in Council Chambers, 134 Rose Avenue, Henderson, NC, and will also be available via the Zoom information below.  The public is welcome.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 892 3895 3419

Passcode: 242597

Dial by your location: (929) 205-6099 US

Local News Audio

Local News Audio 9-21-20 Noon

WIZS – Your Community Voice. Local News Audio.

  • COVID-19 test results for Vance County
  • Voter Registration Information
  • Fish Fry Fundraiser
  • Small Business Loan Program

Click play for Full Details…


Perry Memorial Library

Perry Memorial Library Opens Doors With Limited Hours

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-Information courtesy the Perry Memorial Library

Beginning Monday, September 21, 2020, the Perry Memorial Library in Henderson will be open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m. and 2 until 4 p.m. For everyone’s safety, masks are required to enter the building.

Visits are limited to computer use and material check out. Computer sessions will be limited to 30 minutes.

Curbside pickup will be available Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.

Fines are still suspended at this time.

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City of Henderson Reports Recent Bypass of Untreated Water

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The City of Henderson’s Sewer Collection System bypassed approximately 391,900 gallons of untreated water on September 18, 2020, due to inflow/infiltration from heavy rain.

The overflows occurred at Sandy Creek Pump Station, Redbud Pump Station, and several manholes including Neatherly Street, the intersection of Pinkston Street/Farrar Avenue, the intersection of Alexander Avenue/S. Elizabeth Street, and the intersection of Alexander Avenue/Willow Lane.

Approximately 342,450 gallons of untreated water entered a tributary to Sandy Creek. Approximately 46,000 gallons of untreated water entered a tributary to Red Bud Creek. Approximately 3,450 gallons were contained on the ground.

North Carolina General Statutes Article 21 Chapter 143.215.1c requires a press release for all bypasses of 1,000 gallons or more that enter surface waters.

Questions concerning this matter should be directed to Joey Long Jr – Collection System ORC at (252) 226-4492, Christy Lipscomb – HWRF Interim Director/ORC at (252) 430-9387, or Public Works Director Andy Perkinson at (252) 431-6117.