2 Yellow, 2 Orange in 4-County Area

North Carolina is experiencing a leveling trend following declines in covid spread.

Younger adult groups are experiencing increases, according the NC Dept. of Health and Human Services.

In the 4-county area, Vance and Warren Counties are identified in the recent covid County Alert System update as yellow.  Granville and Franklin Counties are orange.


NCDHHS Updates County Alert System, Shows COVID-19 Trends Leveling

— NCDHHS Press Release

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services today updated the COVID-19 County Alert System, which shows one red county — an increase from zero on the previous April 1 County Alert System.

Today’s update also lists 20 orange counties (previously 21 counties in the April 1 report), 48 yellow counties (previously 47), 30 light yellow counties (previously 31) and one green county (previously one). These updates account for 18 counties having moved up a tier (toward red) since the last report, 19 counties having moved down a tier (toward green) and 63 counties remaining in the same tier.

North Carolina’s key metrics show a leveling of COVID-19 trends after several weeks of decline. Although levels are far below the post-holiday peak in January, most of the state continues to experience significant or substantial community spread with concerning increases in younger adult age groups.

“We want to see our trends in new cases, hospitalizations and percent positive of tests decline again,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D. “The best way we can do that is by having as many people get vaccinated as quickly as possible and keep wearing our masks when out in public.”

To slow the spread of the virus, people should get vaccinated and continue adherence to the 3Ws until most people have a chance to get vaccinated. Regardless of what tier your county is currently in, individuals, businesses, community organizations and public officials all have a responsibility to take these recommended actions and others outline in the County Alert System.

The COVID-19 County Alert System gives individuals, businesses and community organizations, and public officials a tool to understand how their county is faring and to make decisions about actions to take slow the spread of the virus. The COVID-19 County Alert System uses metrics informed by North Carolina’s key metrics to categorize counties into five tiers:

  1. Green: Low Community Spread
  2. Light Yellow: Moderate Community Spread
  3. Yellow: Significant Community Spread
  4. Orange: Substantial Community Spread
  5. Red: Critical Community Spread

VCS Names V3A Principal, EC Director

Vance County Schools announced Thursday the appointment of two educators in leadership roles, one a VCS veteran and the other who is new to the school district.

Dr. Jessica Perry was named principal of Vance Virtual Village Academy after serving as interim principal of V3A since August 2020. Natashalyn Snipes was selected as director of exceptional children, effective July 1, 2021.

Perry is a familiar face to Vance County Schools. “With over 20 years of educational experience as a teacher, administrator and district leader, we are certain Dr. Perry will propel V3A into an innovative opportunity that personalizes education for every student,” according to a statement from Aarika Sandlin, VCS public information officer.  Perry graduated from N.C. State University with a degree in business and marketing education. She has a master’s degree in educational leadership from

Wheeling Jesuit University and a doctorate in education and educational leadership from Gardner-Webb University. In a written statement to WIZS News, Perry said, “I am looking forward to assisting students in gaining access and opportunities with anytime, anywhere teaching and learning.”

Snipes will take over upon the retirement of Dr. Gloria Jones. She has been a teacher, school leader, EC facilitator, and most recently, was the director of exceptional children, student services and preschool at Weldon City Schools, Sandlin said.

Snipes graduated from UNC-CH with a degree in psychology and got her master’s degree in arts and teaching in special education and a master’s in school administration from N.C. Central University. She is currently a doctoral candidate in education leadership at UNC-CH. “Snipes is a transformational leader committed to developing instructional programs that will meet the educational and behavioral needs of all students,” Sandlin said.


VGCC Joins #CCMonth Celebration

Vance-Granville Community College added its name to the list of community colleges across the country to participate in #CCMonth, a month-long campaign to raise awareness about advantages of attending a community college and how they influence economies, academics and equity.

The campaign, coordinated by the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT), coincides with April’s designation as Community College Month. It’s a way to showcase that public community colleges are “a uniquely American educational model that was designed to guarantee access to affordable, high-quality higher education for all people,” according to a press release from VGCC’s Director of Communications Chris LaRocca. From nursing programs to trade certifications, community colleges “also serve as an onramp to bachelor’s, master’s and higher-level degrees for many students, and particularly for the most demographically and socioeconomically diverse students,” he stated.

Community college can accommodate adult students who work and go to school at the same time, and also make education accessible for many students who otherwise would not be able to access higher education.

“Community colleges are engines of diversity, equity and inclusion,” said ACCT President and CEO J. Noah Brown. “They give opportunities to all students, and they support all students throughout their educations, whether they attend to attain an associate degree or certificate, intend to transfer on for a bachelor’s or higher degree, or they take one or a few courses to learn a new skill or expand their horizons.”

The campaign is expected to have strong participation from community colleges and their supporters throughout the country.

Local Community Foundation Grant Cycle Open

Local non-profit organizations can apply for grant funding from the Vance County Community Foundation through May 4, 2021.

Funds are available for nonprofit organizations serving the local community in Vance County and will be awarded from the community grantmaking fund. Grants typically range from $500 to $1,000, according to information from the foundation.

The application period opened in early April. Visit this page for information about applying. Funds are awarded by the board of advisors of the Vance County Community Foundation, an affiliate of the North Carolina Community Foundation.

Grants are not available for regranting purposes, capital campaigns, capital improvements, out-of-state travel or for individuals.

“We are honored to offer grants to the wonderful non-profits serving our local community,” said Wendy Meyer-Goodwin, board president. “We know our community is stronger because of these organizations and we’re grateful to support them.”

For more information, contact Kelly Lee, NCCF program officer, at klee@nccommunityfoundation.org or 252.557.0749.

NC Dept of Agriculture

COVID-19 Fund Helps Offset Quarantine Costs of H2A Workers

Local farmers who employ H2A farmworkers can apply for some financial relief if any of those workers have to quarantine during the 2021 growing season.

N.C. Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said Wednesday that his department has $2 million of federal COVID-19 funds that can be used to offset quarantine expenses.

“Farmworkers have always been critical to agriculture, but the pandemic has shown how essential a healthy workforce is to agriculture and our food supply,” Troxler said. “While it is a priority for all farmworkers to get vaccinated, this program will enable employers to safely quarantine workers who test positive for COVID-19 and hopefully minimize spread to their coworkers and others.” 

Under this program, employers that have farmworkers with valid H2A visas will be eligible for reimbursement of the cost of meals and lodging for the duration of the quarantine period, not to exceed the per diem rates for federal employees.  The employer on record for the farmworker with a valid H2A visa may submit reimbursement request on behalf of any farmworker requiring to be quarantined following a positive test for COVID-19, provided the employer covered the initial eligible expenses out-of-pocket on behalf of the farmworker. The program will be for expenses incurred from March 11, 2021 through the 2021 growing season.

The application period will open on April 14 and will continue through Dec. 15, 2021 or until program funds are exhausted. These funds are provided through CARES Act funding and subject to any changes to the federal legislation.  

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in serious and substantial impacts on the food supply chain, including migrant farm labor in North Carolina. The H2A program is a critical component in planting and harvesting of North Carolina commodities. This program will help offset the financial burden of quarantine accommodations for workers that test positive for COVID-19 in off-site locations.

Details regarding the NCDA&CS COVID-19 Farmworker Quarantine Reimbursement Program will be available at http://www.ncagr.gov/QuarantineReimbursementProgram.htm.  Please contact H2Acovidprogram2021@ncagr.gov with any questions regarding this program.

Town Talk Logo

TownTalk 4-15-21; Traffic, Pedestrians plus Baseball Umpiring

Thank you for listening to WIZS Radio. Your Community Voice!

TownTalk for 4-15-21

I-85 weird interchanges at all three major exits in Henderson.

Pedestrian dangers.

Plus, a special guest baseball umpire.

Broadcast Audio for TownTalk 4-15-21

The Local Skinny! April 15; Small Biz Summit on Agriculture

VGCC to hold Small Business Summit focused on Agriculture

Vance-Granville Community College will present the 9th Annual Small Business Summit, entitled “Ag Alternatives & Legacy Farms,” on Thursday, May 20, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

This event will provide attendees with a day of agriculture education and information sharing, including discussions of niche farming, agritourism and farm modernization, led by a diverse group of successful farmers and business owners. Attendees will also learn about agriculture-related grants and financing options.

The event will be held outside, at Seven Springs Farms and Vineyards (332 Axtell Ridgeway Road, Norlina, NC), and all CDC-recommended social distancing and mask protocols will be followed.

Attendance is free of charge to the first 50 people to register. Lunch is included with registration and will be provided by The Meat Up Spot, a regional food truck (a vegetarian option will be available).

“Agriculture is an important part of our local economy, with many of our small businesses being involved in food and farming, so we are excited to focus on this sector,” said Tanya S. Weary, VGCC’s Dean of Business & Industry Solutions.

Derrick Jackson of Grass Grazed Farm in Durham will serve as the keynote speaker, discussing “A New Farming Model.” Jackson and his wife, Paige, operate a 60-acre farm, where they focus on sustainable pastured livestock, ethical practices and regenerative agriculture.

Other sessions include a panel on “High Tunnel Production,” led by N.C. Cooperative Extension including Dean’s Greens Farm, Rocky Ridge Farms and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service; “Land of Opportunity: Heir Property, Startups, and Finding Your Niche” with Patrick Brown of Brown Family Farms/Hempfinity; a session on “Agritourism, Partnerships and Building Community,” featuring Seven Springs Farms & Vineyards and Lake Gaston Outfitters; and a presentation on “Finding Resources: Cost-Share, Grants, and Financing Your Agribusiness.”

The event is hosted by the VGCC Small Business Center, with co-sponsors including Warren County Economic Development, The Meat Up Spot, Sweet Delights, Grass Grazed, and Seven Springs Farms & Vineyards.

The deadline to register is May 10. For more information, contact Small Business Center Director Sheri Jones at joness@vgcc.edu.

Register Here — https://www.ncsbc.net/workshop.aspx?ekey=530410026

(This text above is a VGCC Press Release.)

Audio of The Local Skinny! for 4-15-21

Bike Ride and Chicken Plates to Benefit Families

Vance County Sheriff Curtis Brame has provided WIZS News with a one-sheet flyer explaining there is a “benefit bike ride for the families of Captain Michael Davis and Trooper Brent Montgomery” coming up.

All bikers are invited.

May 1 is the date, and the Roses Parking Lot on Norlina Road/North Garnett Street is the place.  Register from 12 noon until 2 p.m.  Kickstands up at 2:30 p.m.

$10 per bike.

All proceeds from the bike ride, and the previously promoted BBQ chicken plate sale put on by Henderson-Vance First Responders, will be presented to the Davis and Montgomery Families.

Brame wrote on the flyer, “Let’s come together and show our love and support for these two families.”

As a reminder, the BBQ chicken plate event on Friday, April 30th is being handled by advanced sale of tickets.  Brame said on the flyer, “If you are interested in purchasing a benefit plate, donations are $10 and tickets must be purchased prior to April 16.”

Some additional contacts who have tickets, in addition to others you may have seen published or heard about previously, include Howard Anderson at 252.915.9288 or Eddie Hicks at 252.204.6040.

New Solid Waste Site Open on Warrenton Rd.

As County Manager Jordan McMillen explained in an email to WIZS News, work at Vance County’s newest solid waste site on Warrenton Road has wrapped up.  He said the final punch list inspections were completed last week.

And the target date for opening the new site of today, April 14, was met.

McMillen wrote, “This site is located directly adjacent to the old site and the new site will offer additional space located further off of the road and includes a paved area surrounding the solid waste collection compactor.”

Green For Life (GFL) operates all of the county’s convenience sites by way of contract.

Last week Commission Board Chairman Dan Brummitt and Commissioner Archie Taylor took a ribbon cutting photo at the site alongside representatives from GFL.

Those in the photo from left to right include: Spencer Pernell – Operations Supervisor GFL; Chairman Dan Brummitt; Commissioner Archie Taylor – represents District 2 where the site is located; Randy Deming – General Manager GFL.