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The Local Skinny! Vance County Jail

The Vance County commissioners continue to move forward to address issues with the county detention center, and at their meeting Monday chose a Raleigh architectural firm to complete a needs assessment and make recommendations and suggestions about whether to repair or replace.

Moseley Architects worked with Granville County to build its newly completed jail complex, and County Manager Jordan McMillen told WIZS News Thursday that county leaders are hopeful that the needs assessment will provide some options for next steps.

The 30-year-old jail has had some deficiencies in previous jail inspections, from damaged ceiling tiles to peeling paint and other areas that need repair or maintenance. But McMillen said options range from construction of a new jail to an upgrade and expansion of the current facility or even embracing the concept of “regionalization with a neighboring county.”

Commissioner Dan Brummitt told WIZS News Thursday that the concept of jail regionalization is a growing trend, loosely defined as a way for counties to pool resources, allowing for inmates and suspects to be housed in a central facility instead of county jails.

But jails need a full roster of county detention officers to operate effectively, and the Human Resources Committee identified the position of detention officer as one of several hard-to-fill positions.

The commissioners approved giving a $5,000 hiring bonus for new detention officers, as well as social workers who work with child protective services at the Department of Social Services.

Commissioners Carolyn Faines, Archie Taylor and Gordon Wilder comprise the HR committee, and they reviewed turnover data and length of vacancies to identify the top three positions, McMillen said.

In other business, the commissioners finalized the sale of the former DSS building to the Henderson Family YMCA.

“This will pave the way for the YMCA to use this property for their programming needs as they look to the future,” McMillen said. The 9,684 square foot building sits on 2.46 acres at 350 Ruin Creek Rd.

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Listen to Vipers Football – Coach Elliott And Vipers Building Confidence

Listen Local at 1450 AM / 100.1 FM or anywhere on your connected device or speaker at WIZS.com and Tunein.

Say “Alexa” or “Hey Google” and then “Listen to WIZS.com on Tunein.”  Or click here with any device to Listen Live online (https://player.listenlive.co/53101).

You can hear the growing confidence in his voice.  Vance County High Head Football Coach Aaron Elliott has reason to be confident; in the last 6 quarters, the Vipers have allowed only 7 points while putting 82 on the scoreboard.  The Vipers shut out Carrboro last week 54-0. Elliott attributes the win to practicing. “We had our best week of practice all season last week,” Elliott said. One thing that has helped his team understand the importance of practice was having a Duke University linebackers coach talk to the players about its importance.

Even though Elliott and his players have confidence, he couldn’t foresee the Vipers rolling up 54 points against Carrboro. “You couldn’t predict that they would play as well as they did,” Elliott said.  Quarterback Nazir Garrett threw seven touchdowns in the game which ties him for third all-time in the North Carolina high school record books.

The Vipers will have to put that win behind them and focus on this week’s opponent, South Granville.  The Vikings are 2-4 and coming off a 7-6 win against Southern Durham. “They have a great running back averaging over 175 yards per game,” Elliott said.  While the Vikings pose a challenge, Elliott still feels confident that the Vipers are where they need to be. “We are playing together, everything is clicking,” stated Elliott on Thursday’s SportsTalk on WIZS.

Vance County Friday Night Football on WIZS begins at 6:50 p.m. Friday night with kickoff from Creedmoor at 7 p.m.

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TownTalk: History Of Middleburg

Middleburg may not fit the modern definition of a “planned community,” but following its incorporation in October 1875, it did enjoy some of the same amenities that today’s planned communities have: schools, stores, restaurants and homes.

Mark Pace, local historian and North Carolina Room specialist at Oxford’s Thornton Library, said the Hawkins and Yancey families planned Middleburg, which got its name because it was the midpoint between Raleigh and Gaston, the two terminals for the Raleigh & Gaston Railroad.

“Like so many other communities around here, it didn’t exist until the railroad came through,” Pace said on TownTalk’s tri-weekly history show with Bill Harris.

Patriarch Philemon Hawkins, lived from 1717 to 1801.

One son of Philemon Hawkins III was John Davis Hawkins, who lived in Gillburg near the site of the prison camp. He served for 51 years as a trustee for UNC. His brother, William, was the 17th governor of North Carolina.

It was John Davis Hawkins, Pace said, who was “the mover and shaker who got the first railroad to come through.” They put up the money for the railroad, and Pace said any member of the Hawkins family could ride for free.

The Hawkins family lived at Pleasant Hill, which still stands today. And there is a family cemetery located there.

Sarah Hawkins Jordan was a Black woman born at Pleasant Hill. She was a midwife for 75 years, Pace said, and is said to have helped deliver 2,000 babies. Her husband, John Clark Jordan, was a successful farmer in the area, and she was an assistant to physician Joseph Warren Hawkins.

“She was noted for her medicinal abilities,” Pace said. When their son was stricken with blood poisoning, the hospital physicians said he would likely die. Not willing to accept that as an option, “she used her old-timey recipes and came up with a concoction – wild berries and such – and he recovered,” Pace said.

Those familiar surnames – Hawkins, Yancey, Henderson, just to name a few – seem to pop up frequently when delving into area history and genealogy, but do you know the connection between Middleburg and Shearon Harris nuclear power plant?

  1. Shearon Harris was the son of a Baptist preacher from Middleburg. He became president of Carolina Power & Light, and Pace said “he was a big fan of nuclear power.” The power plant was named for Harris when it opened in 1987.

Then there’s Albert A. Anderson, who operated a private academy in Middleburg in the early 1880’s. But he became interested in medicine, became a doctor and in the early 1910’s director of Dix Hospital. He preferred the use of occupational therapy over drugs to treat the mental health issues of the patients there.

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Hispanic Heritage Festival Moved To Sunday, Oct. 9

The second annual Hispanic Heritage Festival will be held on Sunday, Oct. 9 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the area near the police department and library on Breckenridge Street. The event was moved from Saturday to Sunday because of a conflict with a previously scheduled event at McGregor Hall.

Melissa Elliott, Henderson City Council member and president of Gang Free, Inc. said the stage is set to provide the community with the sights, sounds and flavors of different Hispanic/Latino cultures – just a week later than planned.

The local Arts Council is sponsoring some of the entertainment scheduled, Elliott told John C. Rose Wednesday. There will be dancers performing traditional dances from Colombia and Mexico, she said, and numerous area restaurants will be providing food.

The event is free to the public. “We’re going to go out and have some fun,” she said, adding that it’s important to continue the momentum from last year’s festival and “celebrate everyone that lives, works and plays in our community.”

The popular electric bull will be back for anyone adventurous enough to climb aboard and then try to hang on, and there will be face-painting and other tamer activities to participate in, she added.

Mayor Eddie Ellington is scheduled to issue a city proclamation observing Sept. 15 – Oct. 15 as Hispanic Heritage Month. The festival falls right in the middle of this national observance, which satisfies Elliott’s quest for diversity and educating and empowering everyone in the community.

NC State Board of Elections

State Board Of Elections Offers Reminders About Voter Registration Process

-information courtesy of the N.C. State Board of Elections

Elections officials say the deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 8 election is next Friday, Oct. 14.

Individuals who miss that deadline, however, may register and vote at the same time during the one-stop early voting period, which begins Oct. 20 and ends Nov. 5.  County-by-county early voting sites and schedules are available at the State Board of Elections’ One-Stop Early Voting Site Search.

To register, eligible individuals have the following options:

If an application is received after the deadline, it will be timely if it is postmarked on or before Oct. 14. If the postmark is missing or unclear, the application will be processed if it is received in the mail no later than 20 days before the election. Otherwise, the application will not be processed until after the election.

If submitted by fax or email, the application must be received by 5 p.m. Oct. 14, and a hard copy of the document must be delivered to the county board office by 20 days before the election.

“We encourage all eligible individuals to register to vote and make their voice heard in 2022,” said Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the State Board of Elections. “It’s easy, and there’s still time, either through the regular process or at any one-stop early voting location in your county.”

North Carolina residents may not register to vote on Election Day, unless they become eligible after the Oct.14 registration deadline due to becoming a U.S. citizen or having their rights restored following a felony conviction.

Seventeen-year-olds who will be 18 years old by the general election on Nov. 8 are eligible to register and vote.

To register to vote, a person must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen;
  • Live in the county of his/her registration, and have lived there for at least 30 days before the date of the election;
  • Be at least 18 years old or will be by the date of the general election. Sixteen- and 17-year-olds may preregister to vote; AND
  • Not be in jail or prison for a felony conviction.

Updating Your Voter Registration

Voters who need to update their existing voter registration may use the DMV website or a regular voter registration application to do so.

Those with a North Carolina driver’s license or other DMV identification may update their residential or mailing address and party affiliation through the DMV online service, but may not change their name through that service.

If using the paper application to update a registration, it must be signed and mailed to the voter’s county board of elections by Oct. 14. Updates to name, address (if within the county), and party affiliation must be signed, but can be provided by fax or email to your county board of elections. If a voter is using the paper form to update their residential address to a new county, they must return the paper form by mail or in person.

Registered voters may also update an existing registration at a one-stop early voting site during the early voting period.

See more Voter Registration Resources in North Carolina.

TownTalk: Preparing For Medicare Open Enrollment

Open Enrollment for Medicare begins next week – a time for people to evaluate their plans and coverage and to make changes if needed. Insurance can be complicated, but Lisa Barker said the state’s SHIIP counselors can help Medicare beneficiaries make sense of the different plans that are available.

SHIIP – Seniors Health Insurance Information Program – is a consumer information division that operates under the N.C. Department of Insurance. Barker is SHIIP’s Northeast regional manager. The open enrollment period runs from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7.

There are SHIIP coordinating sites in each of the 100 counties across the state, she said. “We are not insurance agents and we don’t sell insurance,” Barker told John C. Rose on Wednesday’s TownTalk.

Rather, SHIIP counselors assist people who do receive Medicare with questions they may have, whether it’s Medicare, Medicare Part B, supplements or understanding long-term care insurance.

“We provide a non-biased comparison for those shopping” for new plans or who just want to make sure they’re getting the best coverage at the best price, Barker said.

With 2.3 million Medicare beneficiaries in the state, Barker said it’s important to understand that it’s important to review plans and coverage each year. Here is a list of phone numbers for coordinating sites in the four-county area:

  • Vance County – 252.430.0257
  • Granville County – 919.693.1930
  • Warren County – 252.257-3111
  • Franklin County – 919.496.1131

By sitting down with a SHIIP counselor, Barker said individuals can review their current medications and physicians to make sure they don’t need to switch to a different plan.

“Medicare beneficiaries can compare all the plans and determine if they want to switch for the new year,” she explained.

“We can assist enrolling them in a new plan,” Barker continued. “Even if they’re happy with their current plan, it’s just a good idea to come in and talk – just so you know your money is being spent in the best way possible.”

Changes must be made by Dec. 7 to guarantee coverage continues without interruption on Jan. 1, 2023.

“Medicare plans and prices change, N.C. Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey said. “It is important for Medicare beneficiaries to take advantage of the Open Enrollment period by contacting local SHIIP counselors to save money, improve your coverage or both.”

Make sure you contact your local SHIIP counselor before deciding about coverage because you may be able to receive more affordable and better Medicare health and/or drug plan options in your area. For example, even if you are satisfied with your current Medicare Advantage or Part D plan, there may be another plan in your area that covers your health care and/or drugs at a better price.

Barker said she’s been involved in SHIIP in one way or another since 1998. She recalled an older couple who came to her a few years ago to review their plans. Plans had changed since they were initially enrolled in Medicaid, and their monthly premiums were going from $17 to $60.

Upon review of medications and copays, Barker said, the couple could continue with their current plan, but it would be much more expensive. Barker helped them find a new plan, which saved them more than $6,000 a year – and had lower copays.

“I tell this story often because, for them, it comes down to the cost of insurance versus food and electricity…the hugs from them and the relief on their face was priceless,” she added.

Making an appointment with a SHIIP counselor is one way to stay updated and educated on the changes in Medicare and the all the other pieces of the insurance puzzle.

But Barker cautioned individuals about sharing their personal information with others who claim to be working on your behalf, but who may really be trying to gain that personal information to be used in fraudulent ways.

“You want to make sure you’re protecting yourself,” she said. “If they’re asking you for too much personal identifying information,” be wary.

“The North Carolina Department of Insurance or SHIIP is never going to go door-to-door asking for information,” she said. Make sure you’re not giving out that information to someone who contacts you – whether by phone, personal visit, email, text or other written correspondence.

“If you have questions about something you received that is questionable, that’s a really good time to reach out to SHIIP, 855.408.1212.

Roughly $68 billion is lost each year to Medicare fraud.

Individuals also should regularly review their Medicare Summary Notices to verify that all charged listed are actually for the services that were provided by your healthcare professionals.  Ask questions if you think something looks suspicious.  It doesn’t hurt to question a charge.  Also, simple mistakes can happen.  When typing the number 10 someone could accidently hit the zero a second time and make the charge 100.  SHIIP can help individuals file a Medicare fraud claim.

Visit www.ncshiip.com to learn more.

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Items to Buy and Sell

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100.1 FM ~ 1450 AM ~ WIZS ~ YOUR COMMUNITY VOICE

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Wednesday, October 5, 2022

  • Walnut marble top tables. Call 252-213-8883

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

  • Fishing boat, 12ft. X 54″, two new tires, $900 neg; Wanted: metal burn barrel.  Call 252-767-4044

Monday, October 3, 2022

  • GE glass-top stove, 3 years old, great condition, $350. Call 919-879-9818.
  • Microwave for sale. Call 252-492 3651.
  • Looking to purchase a load of firewood, split, dry, hardwood and pine ok. Call 252-432-3145.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

  • Free white oak fire wood, cut down in July, several stacks of nice size limbs and big tree . Call and leave a message, come cut all you want.  Call 252-762-7337.

Monday, September 26, 2022

  • Bird dog, free to a good home.  Call 252-432-0086.

Thursday, September 22, 2022

  • Murray Riding Mower, $200.  Call 252-668-0000.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

  • Dogs houses, free, pickup in Kittrell, 103 Tabbs Ridge Court; Looking for a shed at a reasonable price.  Call  919-339-8196
  • 1947 Ford 8N Tractor, good condition; 1994 Ford Custom Van, good condition.  Large variety of tools; moving sale.  Call 252-204-9821.

Thursday, September 8, 2022

  • Craftsman lawn mower riding lawn mower for $125. Call 919-282-7298.

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

  • 1999 Ford Ranger for sale.  Has a broken axle but can be fixed or used as a parts truck.. Good motor and transmission. Asking $ 375.00 for it, as is. Call 984-239-3752.

Thursday, Sept. 1, 2022

  • Looking for heaters.  Call 252-767-9453.

Future Airbnb Hosts In Vance, Warren – There’s A Webinar Oct. 12 Just For You

Vance and Warren counties are included in a state initiative called “Dream Big in Small Town NC” designed to increase visitors to the area. A webinar will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 12 to discuss details of the program, which was passed into law by the N.C. legislature.

Vance and Warren counties are included in the Northeast Lakes & Rivers region, along with Halifax and Edgecombe counties, according to information from Charla Duncan, Warren County community & economic development director.

The purpose of the program is to drive increased visitation and exploration into participating counties with the goal of converting visitors to residents/workforce.

Airbnb, a program partner, is hosting a free online/virtual workshop for residents of rural communities to share tips on hosting a space through Airbnb.

With the purpose of the Dream Big in Small Town NC program being to drive increased visitation and exploration to participating counties with the long-term goal of converting visitors to residents and replacing population declines.

The 90-minute Airbnb Rural Entrepreneurship Academy webinar begins at 4 p.m. EST. Although there is no cost to attend, registration is required by Monday, Oct. 10.

Learn more about the academy and sign up to attend at: https://ruralairbnbacademy.splashthat.com/.