Local News Audio

Noon News 12-8-20 Covid19 News; Enhanced Rail; Granville Co. Schools; VGCC Degree Program

Stories include:
– Latest Covid19 statistics

–  community testing event

– enhanced rail service possibly coming to Henderson

– Granville County Schools

– VGCC partner with Elizabeth City State for degree program

For full details and audio click play


Cherrelle Lawrence

VGCC Names Lawrence Dean of Corporate Learning & Professional Development


-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Vance-Granville Community College recently named Cherrelle Lawrence as its new Dean of Corporate Learning & Professional Development. In this role, Dean Lawrence will identify and develop corporate training and external professional development offerings for companies, local government agencies and civic organizations.

Lawrence will also serve as the lead administrator (Dean) for the VGCC Franklin Campus and work with Franklin Campus faculty and staff to ensure successful implementation of the mission of the satellite campus.

Vance-Granville Community College recently named Cherrelle Lawrence as its new Dean of Corporate Learning & Professional Development. (Photo courtesy VGCC)

Lawrence is a certified Global Career Development Facilitator & Trainer (GCDF) and has worked in Career Services & Employer Relations in higher education and the non-profit sector for over five years.

Lawrence most recently served as Assistant Director of Employer Relations at the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School. During her time there, she led the Undergraduate Business Program’s Diversity & Inclusion initiatives and fostered strong working relationships with over 200 companies across a variety of sectors.

Prior to working at UNC-Chapel Hill, Lawrence served on the TAACCCT & TechHire grant teams at VGCC, where she built relationships with local companies and directly engaged with VGCC students, staff and faculty.

“It has always been my vision and plan to grow in Higher Education, with a specific interest in Training & Development,” Dean Lawrence said. “I look forward to being able to share my expertise, learn from others and ultimately help cultivate our Workforce and Community Engagement Department.”

Lawrence holds a master’s in Business Administration from East Carolina University and a bachelor’s in Business Education & Marketing from North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University.

“We are glad to welcome Cherrelle Lawrence back to VGCC in this new capacity, and we are excited about the leadership she will provide to help our area’s employers succeed through training and to continue the outstanding services and programs available at our Franklin Campus,” said Dr. Jerry Edmonds, VGCC’s Vice President of Workforce Development and Community Engagement.

VCS High School Athletic Schedule

Vance Co. Schools Begins Staggered Phase-In of High School Athletics

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-Information courtesy Vance County Schools

Vance County Schools will permit a staggered phase-in of high school athletics beginning the week of November 2, 2020, as outlined in the schedule included below. This phase-in is consistent with expectations outlined by the NC High School Athletic Association and endorsed by the Vance County Board of Education.

Student-athletes involved in volleyball, cross country, cheerleading, basketball, football or swimming, along with their parent/guardian, MUST attend a required virtual orientation meeting via Zoom on Wednesday, November 4, 2020, at 6:30 p.m. All high school students will receive a zoom link in their school email. This meeting will provide important information for our student-athletes and their parents.

Should you have any questions, please contact the High School Athletic Director, Joe Sharrow at (252) 430-6000 or by email at jsharrow@vcs.k12.nc.us. The latest information will be updated on the VCHS website (www.vcs.k12.nc.us/vchs).

A decision regarding middle school athletics will be announced in the near future.


VGCC Golf Tournament Brings in More Than $110,000

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-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Vance-Granville Community College recently held its annual Endowment Fund Golf Tournament at the Henderson Country Club, raising more than $110,000. Proceeds will help fund scholarships for deserving students and support the mission of the college.

Delayed from its traditional spring date due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 36th annual tournament was presented by Gupton Services, Inc., of Henderson. This year’s fundraiser brought the total amount generated by all VGCC golf tournaments since 1985 to more than $1.2 million.

“We are extremely grateful for the community’s continuing support of VGCC, as expressed through yet another successful tournament,” said VGCC President Dr. Rachel Desmarais. “Our region’s civic and business leaders know that our community college is a key driver of workforce and economic development.”

“Thanks to the contributions of numerous golfers and sponsors, our Endowment Fund will have more resources to help students continue their education so that they can prepare for careers and enjoy a brighter future,” added VGCC Endowment Director Eddie Ferguson.

A total of 128 golfers played this year, with 64 competing on Monday, Sept. 14, and the other 64 playing in a separate round on Tuesday, Sept. 15.

In the Monday round, the MR Williams team of Chris Cheever, Dennis Lambert, Daniel Faulkner and Tyler Beauchamp took home the “first net” trophy. The Golden Skillet team of David Fairey, Steven Wright, Steve Wright and Steve Wright won “second net.” The “first gross” trophy went to the Novozymes team of Fred Reikowsky, James Massey, Vinny Veruto and Mark Lasher. The Mast Drug team of Andrew Flye, Jan Fletcher, Rusty Crocker and Kirt Meadows took home “second gross.”

In the Tuesday round, the Salvation Army team (sponsored by Gupton Services) of Derrick Smith, Chad Langley, Wes MacLawhorn and Danny Wilkerson finished with the “first net” score. The Carolina Commonwealth team of Kenny Abbott, David Farrie, Mike Faulkner and Tommy Ross won “second net.” The “first gross” trophy went to the Institutional Interiors team of Tim Hill, Mike Baskett, Billy Stanton and Macy Foster. The Carolina Sunrock team of Blake Montgomery, Zach Satterwhite, Greg Johnson and Eric Royster took home “second gross.”

P.J. Schleiger took the longest-drive prize on Hole 1 on Monday, and Trey Watkins won the closest-to-the-pin prize on Hole 11.

Danny Wilkerson had the longest drive on Tuesday, while Greg Johnson won the closest-to-the-pin prize.

Numerous companies and individuals supported the VGCC tournament as sponsors, along with presenting sponsor Gupton Services, Inc.

Premier Sponsors included Henderson Fruit and Produce, Glen Raven, Wester Insurance Agency, Durham Coca-Cola, First Citizens Wealth, Charles Boyd Chevrolet Buick GMC, Duke Energy, Private Wealth Management of N.C., Novozymes North America, Inc., Universal Leaf North America U.S., Inc., Robling Medical, Union Bank, Bridgestone Bandag Tire, Carolina Commonwealth, Rose Oil Company, Inc., CertainTeed, Altec, Granville Health System, John Nelms, Jr., MR Williams, Kilian Engineering, Mast Drug Company and Coldwell Banker Advantage.

Platinum Sponsors included Core & Main, Variety Stores, Inc., Institutional Interiors, Henderson Collegiate and Oxford Prep.

Gold Sponsors included Winston International, Golden Skillet and Carolina Sunrock.

Contributors included Mako Medical Laboratories, Joe and Betty Jo Hamme, Newton Instrument Company, Jim Beck, Tru-Green Landscaping, Jim Crawford, ARC3 Gases, Dr. Ben Currin, B & R Properties & Development, Judge Henry and Mamie Banks, Donald Seifert, Sarah Baskerville and Walmart Distribution.

Green Sponsors included Greystone Concrete Products, Backyard Retreat, Barnett Real Properties, Inc., RFR Metal Fabrication, Wake Electric Membership Corp., Nick & Sons Truck Repair, Vescom North America, JM White Funeral Home, Watkins Plumbing, HG Reynolds, NT Techno, May & Place, Dill Air Controls Products and International Paper.

Tee Box Sponsors included AAA Gas & Appliance Company, Hight Warehouse, Encore Tech, Comfort Zone, Granville County EDC, Hicks & Wrenn, Mosely Plumbing Company, Inc., WOW Wash on Wheels, Sunrise Biscuits of Oxford, Century 21 Country Knolls Realty, Inc., One Source Document Solutions, Carolina Country Snacks, Banzet, Thompson, Styers & May, City Tire, Inc., Cross & Currin Attorneys, Southern Educational Systems, Vance Construction Company, Stainback, Satterwhite & Zollicoffer, PLLC, Phillips Dorsey Thomas Waters & Brafford, P.A., Whitco Bug Warriors, Robco, Frazco, Inc. Insurance – Real Estate, Marsha J. Nelson, Brame Specialty, William L. Stark and Company, Dave Carver, Pete Smith’s Tire and Quick Lube, Dabney Drive Animal Hospital, Alex Drake, DDS, PA, Sherman & Boddie, Inc., Riggs-Harrod, Ahner Security, H & W Investments, Henderson-Vance EDC, Benchmark Community Bank, Medical Arts Pharmacy, Ag Carolina Farm Credit, Hall’s Floor Fashions, Inc., Will Jakes-Edward Jones, Fred’s Towing & Transport, Inc., Professional Pharmacy, C & P Body Shop, Mack Choplin, Postal Plus Business Center, Waste Industries, MPACT Solutions, LLC and Eddie and Debra Ferguson.

Each year, the golf tournament is the major fundraising event for the VGCC Endowment Fund, through which more than 9,700 scholarships have been awarded to students since 1982. Scholarships have been established by individuals, industries, businesses, civic groups, churches and the college’s faculty and staff.

For more information, call (252) 738-3409.


VGCC Awarded Funds for Continuing Education Scholarships

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-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Vance-Granville Community College recently received just over $188,000 from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund to help local residents obtain job training. 

The GEER Fund, created as part of the federal CARES Act, will provide scholarships for eligible VGCC continuing education students pursuing short-term workforce training programs within certain pathways that will lead to state or industry-recognized credentials. Students can receive up to $750 in assistance per course. Scholarships can potentially help cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, supplies, credentialing tests, transportation, or childcare. 

At VGCC, the eligible pathways include the following programs: 

  • Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET), 
  • BioWork Process Technician,
  • Electronic Health Records,
  • EMT-Basic,
  • EMT-Paramedic,
  • Heavy Equipment Operator,
  • Healthcare Billing and Coding,
  • HVAC – Cooling,
  • HVAC – Refrigeration,
  • Introduction to Welding,
  • Nurse Aide, Levels 1 and 2,
  • Phlebotomy,
  • Production Tech, and
  • Truck Driver Training.

VGCC officials may add more programs to the list, based on local workforce needs.

“We are excited about the opportunities that the GEER Fund will open up for many students, especially those who have lost their jobs and suffered financially due to the pandemic,” said Dr. Jerry Edmonds, vice president of Workforce Development and Community Engagement for VGCC. “There are jobs available and many employers need talented workers, so now is a great time to retrain and gain new skills, so that you can prepare for a new career or advance in your chosen field.”

Governor Roy Cooper announced the initial allocations of North Carolina’s GEER Fund in August. At that time, Bill Carver, the interim President of the North Carolina Community College System, said, “North Carolina Community Colleges are uniquely positioned to offer short term workforce preparation to assist in the State’s economic recovery. This funding will be used for targeted programs providing cost-effective, high-quality opportunities for North Carolinians wanting credentials leading to career advancement.” 

For more information, contact Dawn Michelle Tucker, Dean of Continuing Education & College + Career Readiness, at (252) 738-3288 or tuckerd@vgcc.edu

Vance County Schools Logo

Vance Co. Board of Education Votes to Remain in Plan C

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-Information courtesy Vance County Schools

On July 17, 2020, the Vance County Board of Education voted to begin the 2020-2021 school year in Plan C, fully remote learning.

It was decided that the Board would revisit the decision at the end of the first nine-weeks to determine the next steps for the district. That decision came on Monday, October 12, 2020, as the Board voted 5 – 2 to remain in Plan C for the remainder of the first semester.

The next Board of Education meeting is scheduled for Monday, November 9, 2020, at 6 p.m.

To stay updated on VCS decisions and announcements, please visit the District’s website or Facebook page.

Granville Vance Public Health Logo

GVPH COVID-19 Update as of 10/5/20


-Information courtesy Granville Vance Public Health

The following is an update for COVID-19 spread and response in Granville and Vance County as of October 5, 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

1,794 positive test results for COVID-19.

Of those 1,794, 1,132 are community-spread cases located across Granville County. Of those 1,132, 1,022 have been released from isolation.

Of those 1,794, 526 cases are affiliated with the prison system in Granville County and 494 of those 526 have been released from isolation.

Of those 1,794, 136 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 95 at Universal Health Care.

The outbreak at Granville House is no longer active. Of the 136 cases in long term care facilities in Granville County, 112 have been released from isolation.

11 individuals in Granville County are hospitalized.

There have been a total of 50 deaths in Granville County: five in the community, one associated with Central Regional Hospital, one associated with Murdoch Development Center, 21 associated with Universal Health Care and 22 associated with the Bureau of Prisons Federal Correctional Complex.

Vance County

1,051 positive test results for COVID-19.

Of those 1,051, 926 are community-spread cases located across Vance County. Of those 926, 804 have been released from isolation.

Of those 1,051, 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.

12 individuals in Vance County are hospitalized.

There have been a total of 45 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 17 in the community. Unfortunately, there has been another death in the community: a 72-year-old male passed away on October 3, 2020.

WIZS Note: There are 122 total known active cases in the Vance County community and 110 in the Granville County community at large at this time (excluding congregate living numbers). One additional COVID-19 related Vance County death and no additional Granville County deaths have been reported in the last seven 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.

VCS Stefanie Ayscue

VCS Recognizes Teachers, Principals at Annual Excellence in Education Event


-Press Release and photos, Vance County Schools

Vance County Schools held the annual Excellence in Education event on Tuesday, September 22, 2020. At the event, the District’s Beginning Teacher of the Year, Teacher of the Year, Assistant Principal of the Year and Principal of the Year were announced.

The event was a drive-in recognition at the VCS Administrative Service Center on Graham Avenue, where staff were presented their award in an outdoor ceremony, with social distancing in place and masks required. Dr. Anthony Jackson, VCS Superintendent, along with Assistant Superintendents Dr. Trixie Brooks and Dr. Cindy Bennett, recognized each honoree.

District award winners included:

2020-2021 Assistant Principal of the Year Shannon Bullock

Bullock is the assistant principal of Vance County Middle School and in her 9th year in education, spending every year with Vance County Schools.

A native of Henderson, Bullock shares, “It is with great humility that I serve the families of our community. I will forever embrace the opportunity to uplift all stakeholders of our school community so that all of our students will be adequately prepared for their next endeavors in life. My heart is filled with gratitude to be able to give back to my community.”

Bullock received her Associate’s from Vance-Granville Community College, continuing on with her undergraduate from East Carolina University and graduate degree from High Point University. She is currently working on her doctorate at Liberty University.

2020-2021 Beginning Teacher of the Year Sheneika Campbell

Campell teaches 7th-grade English Language Arts at Vance County Middle School. She has been with Vance County Schools for three years but has been in education for 12 years. Originally from Montego Bay, Jamaica, Campbell earned her undergraduate and graduate degree from the University of the West Indies.

She shared, “I am a passionate educator who has been called to this profession to effect positive changes and advance the welfare of all in my reach. I am honored and humbled to be recognized as BT for the district. This award has ignited an even stronger commitment to inspire, motivate, and serve the scholars of VCS.”

2020-2021 Principal of the Year Stephanie Ayscue

Ayscue is currently the principal of Advance Academy with 20 years in education. A native of Toledo, Ohio, Stephanie earned her undergraduate degree from Lourdes University, graduate degree from Western Carolina University and Ed.S from Liberty University. She is currently working on her doctorate degree from Liberty University.

Stephanie expressed, “Love and relationships are essential. The Dalai Lama states, ‘When educating the minds of our youth, we must not forget their hearts.’ That is what we do at Advance Academy and what I have always tried to do at every school I have been blessed to be part of.”

2020-2021 Teacher of the Year Sara Lilley

Lilley is a 3rd-grade teacher at Clarke Elementary School. Sara shared, “I’m blessed to work with such a wonderful group of educators. It is quite an honor to receive such a distinction when I consider the talent, skill, and experience that daily surrounds me.”

Sara is in her 11th year teaching, all with Vance County Schools at Clarke Elementary. Lilley, originally from Elizabeth City, NC, received her undergraduate degree from Campbell University and her graduate degree from NC State University.

The Principal of the Year Stephanie Ayscue and Teacher of the Year Sara Lilley will now move forward in competing for the regional titles. The North Carolina State Principal of the Year and Teacher of the Year will be announced in the spring of 2021 and selected from the regional winners across the state.

Vance County Schools Superintendent Dr. Anthony Jackson presents the 2020-2021 Assistant Principal of the Year award to Shannon Bullock.

Vance County Schools Superintendent Dr. Anthony Jackson presents the 2020-2021 Beginning Teacher of the Year award to Sheneika Campbell.

Vance County Schools Superintendent Dr. Anthony Jackson presents the 2020-2021 Principal of the Year award to Stephanie Ayscue.

2020-2021 Teacher of the Year Sara Lilley, a 3rd-grade teacher at Clarke Elementary School, poses with her awards in front of the district office.

NC Governor Logo

Public Schools Now Able to Implement Plan A for Elementary Schools

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-Press Release, Office of Governor Roy Cooper

After several weeks of stable COVID-19 trends and continued low virus spread in school settings, Governor Roy Cooper today announced that beginning on October 5, North Carolina public school districts and charter schools can choose to implement Plan A for elementary schools (grades K-5).

Plan A continues to include important safety measures like face coverings for all students, teachers and staff, social distancing, and symptom screening but does not require schools to reduce the number of children in the classroom.

“We are able to open this option because most North Carolinians have doubled down on our safety and prevention measures and stabilized our numbers,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “North Carolinians are doing the hard work to improve our numbers and trends. Many people are wearing masks, keeping social distance and being careful to protect others as well as themselves. We have shown that listening to the science works. And I’m proud of our resolve.”

As the Governor announced in July, every district will continue to have the flexibility to select Plan A, B or C based on their unique needs. In addition, districts should still provide an option for families to select all remote learning for their students. Read the Strong Schools NC Public Health Toolkit to learn more about the requirements under each plan.

Dr. Mandy Cohen, Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services shared an update on North Carolina’s data trends. Dr. Cohen explained that North Carolina has seen a sustained leveling or decrease of key metrics.

“Our trends show that we are on the right track. It’s up to all of us to protect our progress. Our individual actions like those 3 Ws will help keep our school doors open.,” said Secretary Cohen.

Dr. Cohen also explained that as schools have opened, the current science shows that younger children are less likely to become infected, have symptoms, experience severe disease or spread the virus.

“It’s great news today that we are a step closer to providing the option of in-person learning to families who want their children to return to school,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson. “While the Governor, the State Board of Education, and I have our differences, I join with them today to encourage local school board members to take advantage of this change and open all schools safely. I thank the many parents and teachers across North Carolina who have been vocal advocates on this important issue.”

“For the past six months, superintendents, principals, teachers and local BOE have worked diligently to care for the safety of our students and staff while educating our children. While we are anxious to return all students, we know that teachers, principals, and students need a gradual transition over the next three months. I ask our parents to remain patient, knowing that we are moving as quickly as is safely possible. And I ask our teachers to continue to assist our students by supporting this deliberate, thoughtful transition,” said Eric Davis, Chairman of the State Board of Education.

Trajectory in COVID-Like Illness (CLI) Surveillance Over 14 Days

  • North Carolina’s syndromic surveillance trend for COVID-like illness is declining.

Trajectory of Confirmed Cases Over 14 Days

  • North Carolina’s trajectory of lab-confirmed cases is declining.

Trajectory in Percent of Tests Returning Positive Over 14 Days

  • North Carolina’s trajectory in percent of tests returning positive is declining.

Trajectory in Hospitalizations Over 14 Days

  • North Carolina’s trajectory of hospitalizations is declining.

In addition to these metrics, the state continues building capacity to be able to adequately respond to an increase in virus spread. These areas include:

Laboratory Testing

  • Access to testing has expanded. No-cost testing events are being deployed across the state and testing turnaround times have improved.

Tracing Capability

  • Contact tracers continue to be hired to bolster the efforts of local health departments. A new exposure notification app will be launched soon.

Personal Protective Equipment

  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies are stable
VCS and Dr. Cathcart

Local Organizations Donate Combined $10,000 to Public School Foundation


-Press Release and photos, Vance County Public School Foundation

The Vance County Public School Foundation (VCPSF) was developed to partner with and support Vance County Schools (VCS). As the 2020-2021 school year is underway, VCS is excited to share that the VCPSF, along with community and business partnerships, are stepping in to make a difference!

Dr. Cathcart and the Henderson Optimist Club have collectively donated $3,500 to add additional WiFi devices in the district. This added connectivity will ensure VCS students are able to receive instruction and access resources, even during remote learning.

The Rotary Club of Henderson, along with members Thomas Hester, Archie Taylor, Anthony Jackson, Brad Baldwin, and George Watkins, have donated a combined $1,500 to further add headsets for students to utilize with technology devices.

VCS is also working with various churches, businesses and organizations to put together Arts and Rec kits for elementary age students. These kits will contain items to support the curriculum in both the arts and physical education. The project was jumpstarted with a $5,000 grant from Walmart Distribution and is being supplemented by donations from various businesses, churches and organizations within our community.

VCS continues to be grateful for all that the community has invested into Vance County Schools and the Vance County Public School Foundation. We look forward to continuing to make our community Vance County Proud!