Chamber, Rotary Join Forces To Present “State Of The Schools” 2023

The Henderson-Vance County Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Henderson Rotary Club, invites you to attend “The State of Vance County Public Schools Address and Luncheon” on Tuesday, April 18, 2023 at 12 noon.  Dr. Cindy Bennett, VCS Superintendent, will be the keynote speaker bringing you updates, goals and accomplishments of the public school system.

“We would like to thank the Henderson Rotary Club for being the sponsor for all three of these events,” Wilkerson said. “We are happy they recognize the need to keep our businesses and citizens informed.”

This address is the 3rd local address planned by the Chamber’s Governmental and Public Affairs Committee.  Chamber President Sandra Wilkerson said it’s important to make reservations early – the two session held in 2022 sold out, she said. Call or email the Chamber to reserve your seat. Tickets are $30; or reserve a table of 8 for $240.

The event will be held at Henderson Country Club.

RSVP by calling the Chamber at 252.438.8414 or email Wilkerson at

Sheriff Announces Arrest In Repeated Break-Ins At Local Business

A Henderson man has been charged in connection with four different break-ins at a local business.

Oscar Delcid, 20, faces a laundry list of charges in connection with break-ins that occurred between Dec. 30, 2022 and Jan. 12, 2023 at Pernell’s Custom Framing on US 158 Bypass, according to a press statement from Vance County Sheriff Curtis Brame.

Delcid went before a magistrate and was placed under a $150,000 secured bond. He has a court date of April 6.

Charges include four counts each of breaking and entering and injury to personal property, as well as single counts of larceny of a firearm, possession of stolen property and possession of burglary tools, according to Brame.

Anyone with information about this case is urged to contact the Vance County Sheriff’s Office at 252.738.2200.

Vance County Man Arrested On Numerous Drug Charges

A local man was arrested Thursday on numerous drug charges, according to information from the Vance County Sheriff’s Office.

In a press statement Friday from Sheriff Curtis Brame, sheriff’s officers, with assistance from the Wake Forest Police Department, executed a search warrant at the home of Maurice Thomas on Mar. 16.

The warrant was served at 531 Swain Drive, Henderson.  The home was occupied by three individuals at the time the warrant was served, Brame stated. Recovered in the search was approximately 116 grams of cocaine, along with marijuana and a firearm.


Thomas was taken into custody and charged with the following:


Traffic cocaine

Possession with intent to sell and deliver cocaine

Felony possession of cocaine

Possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana

Felony possession of marijuana

Felony maintaining a dwelling/vehicle

Possession of a firearm by a felon


Thomas appeared before a magistrate, at which time a secured bond of $179,000 was set.

Kittrell Man Gets 15-Year Prison Term For 2019 Bank Robberies

A Kittrell man has been sentenced to more than 15 years in prison for his role in two bank robberies in 2019.

Cameron Evans, 27, was sentenced to 185 months in prison, having been convicted along with three other men for the robbery of a SunTrust bank in Raleigh and a BB&T in Greenville, , according to information from the office of U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina.

According to court records and other information presented in court, On Dec. 6, 2019, the SunTrust bank located at 7320 Creedmoor Road in Raleigh, was robbed at gunpoint by four men. The men left the bank with approximately $11,578.00 and witnesses saw them fleeing the scene in a white Hyundai Elantra. On Dec. 30, 2019, around 4:30 p.m., the Branch Bank & Trust (BB&T) located 2475 Stantonsburg Road in Greenville was robbed at gunpoint by three men. They left the bank with $72,853 and witnesses saw them flee the scene in a white Hyundai Elantra. Law enforcement was able to obtain the registration number from the vehicle which enabled them to find Evans and his codefendants.

In an interview with law enforcement, Evans would admit to committing the SunTrust and BB&T bank robberies. The codefendants in this case were Clifton Harris, Stanley Kearney Jr. and Joshua Bailey. All three have pled guilty. Harris was sentenced to 81 months and Kearney was sentenced to 190 months.  Bailey is awaiting sentencing.

First Methodist Church

TownTalk: Addressing Food Insecurities

A planning session will be held Tuesday, Mar. 21 in the fellowship hall of First United Methodist Church to discuss the upcoming Community Day of Service. Brian Daniel invites anyone interested in participating in the April 22 event to come to the planning meeting.

The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. in the fellowship hall of First United Methodist Church, and the actual Day of Service will be held at South Henderson Pentecostal Holiness Church on Americal Road in April.

As it did back in January 2020, the 2023 Community Day of Giving will focus on food insecurity. Teams of volunteers will package a non-perishable mix of highly nutritious foods for Rise Against Hunger, an organization that sends across the world to help those in need.

Among the topics for discussion on Tuesday are volunteer shifts, numbers of volunteers needed and team fundraising, according to Daniel.

In 2020, more than 600 volunteers from 14 churches and various businesses and organizations in the community were responsible for making 63,000 meals that were then boxed up and sent to countries all over the world. Because of the strong turnout, the teams exceeded the day’s goal of 50,000 meals.

But the event also collected a large trailer load of food for ACTS of Henderson, which helped to feed hungry people right here in the community.

Teams will work between now and April 22 to raise money to defray food costs for Rise Against Hunger, as well as collect food and money for ACTS.



Leadership Changes in Vance County Schools

Dr. Destiney Ross-Putney has been named the Chief Officer of Instruction and Innovation. She will begin duties in her new role in May, according to information from VCS.

Kadecia Stewart-Faines has been named Beginning Teacher Support Coordinator and Casey Jackson has been named the Advanced Teaching Roles Coordinator and are set to begin their new duties in July.

Ross-Putney, a graduate of Vance County Schools, will take the reins from Dr. Gail Powers, who is retiring. She began in 2008 as a math teacher at Northern Vance High School, continuing as assistant principal at STEM Early High School, secondary math specialist, instructional technology facilitator and then executive director of the Center for Innovation and Professional Learning.

VCS Superintendent Dr. Cindy Bennett said she is confident Ross-Putney will expand her impact on the district in her new role, calling her an “innovative educator and systems thinker. Her work ethic is phenomenal and her desire to support teaching and learning is essential to the work we hope to accomplish.”

Ross-Putney was instrumental in the creation of the district’s first STEM middle school, designing and implementing an early high school model that was one-of-its-kind on the national level. She continues to fulfill her passion of providing access and opportunities to underrepresented student groups to STEAM (science, technology, engineering, the arts, mathematics) education and career fields.

As a graduate of Vance County Schools, Ross-Putney went on to earn her Bachelors of Science in Math Education and Masters in Education in Instructional Technology from N.C. State University. She earned her Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership from High Point University. As a student-centered and passionate professional who is committed to building relationships, ensuring equity, inspiring creativity, and promoting practices that effectively improves outcomes for students, the district is excited for the work Ross-Putney will bring to the role of Chief Officer of Instruction and Innovation and the impact on our learning communities.

Ross-Putney and her husband have three children and live in Franklin County.

Stewart-Faines joined VCS in 2013 and has a total of 17 in the field of education. She began teaching in Kingston, Jamaica before coming to North Carolina. She was a teacher at Pinkston Street Elementary and was named 2017-18 Teacher of the Year. She moved on to earn district teacher of the year honors and then regional teacher of the year. She transitioned to school administration and previously was assistant principal at Vance County Middle School. She currently serves as the Innovative Partnership Grant Coach.

She earned her Bachelors in Education from Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts and her Masters in Curriculum an.d Instruction from Florida International University, Stewart-Faines then went on to earn her Masters in School Administration from High Point University. She participated in the High Point Leadership Academy for School Leadership.

Superintendent Bennett shared, “All educators need support, especially those new to the profession, state or country. Kedecia is very knowledgeable in the teaching and learning process and has a heart to serve.

Stewart-Faines lives in Williamsboro with her husband and three children.

Jackson, who will become the Advanced Teaching Roles Coordinator, joined VCS in 2018. Jackson began as a 4th grade teacher in Virginia for nine years, later becoming an Assistant Principal. After 3 years in that role, she became a Principal, serving in that capacity for one year. In 2018, Jackson joined Vance County Schools as a Multi-Classroom Leader (MCL) at Aycock Elementary.

MCL’s were initially established at Opportunity Culture schools within Vance County Schools as those with data to support high-growth student learning and leadership competencies. MCL’s work directly with staff and students, spending a portion of time teaching, as well as leading small teams of teachers, collaborating to provide support and implementing the best strategies for classroom instruction. Jackson has had great success in this role. As the Advanced Teaching Roles Coordinator, she will extend her reach, working with both MCL’s and principals.

“Casey is a strong instructional leader. From teacher to MCL to Principal, she has demonstrated her passion for education and supporting both students and staff,” shared Superintendent Bennett. “We are excited about the Advanced Teaching Roles Coordinator position, as it will expand Casey’s impact throughout the district.”

A graduate of Longwood University, Jackson earned her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and her Masters of Science in Educational Leadership. She resides in South Hill, Virginia with her husband and three children.

TownTalk: Inaugural Awards Honors Black-Owned Businesses, Nonprofits

Entrepreneurship is a big word that certainly has gained traction and popularity in recent years in the business community. It’s not a new concept, though, and it’s something that many small business owners have experience with.

More than a dozen Black-owned businesses – many of which started small and have grown over time – were recognized for their contributions to the community during the inaugural Black Business & Non-Profit Organization Award Ceremony held in Henderson recently.

The luncheon event was the result of a partnership with Vance-Granville Community College and Gateway Community Development Corporation, and hosted the luncheon event at Southern Charm Event Center, which also happened to be one of the award winners during the Feb. 23 ceremony.

Dr. Jerry Edmonds, VGCC vice president of workforce & community engagement and Heather Joi Kenney, president and founder of Gateway CDC, joined John C. Rose on Wednesday’s TownTalk and offered their thoughts on the first of what they predict will become an annual event.

Edmonds and Kenney served as co-moderators for the awards ceremony. Throughout planning for the awards luncheon, Edmonds said Wednesday that the shared vision came to fruition.

“The event itself was well attended,” Edmonds said. “I couldn’t have been happier with the outcome.” Not only Black-owned businesses were in attendance, but people across all demographics was what the organizers had in mind.

This ceremony focused on Vance County, but the idea is to rotate among the four counties that VGCC serves. Granville County, most likely, will be the focus of next year’s event, he said.

From left: Dr. Jerry Edmonds, Vice President of Workforce & Community Engagement at Vance-Granville Community College; Mary Davis Royster, owner of Davis-Royster Funeral Service, Inc.; Paul Crews Jr., director’s assistant at Davis-Royster Funeral Service, Inc.; and Heather Joi Kenney, president and CEO of Gateway CDC.

“We expect a large list of awardees worthy of this recognition,” Edmonds said.

The overwhelming response from this year’s honorees was one of gratitude, Edmonds and Kenney agreed.

“There was a lot of gratitude in their responses,” Kenney said, adding that this was the first time that many had been recognized in such an important way – being “seen” by the larger community for contributions was part of the purpose, she said.

Several awardees counted this award as one of the most significant accomplishments of their careers, Edmonds added.

This event is indicative of the many ways that VGCC and Gateway CDC work together to support small business, and, in this case, Black-owned businesses and nonprofits.

VGCC’s Small Business Center offers individual counseling, seminars and access to a resource center to support existing business owners and those who are testing the waters of entrepreneurship. Visit to learn more.

Similarly, Gateway CDC has a host of resources, including providing technical support for small business owners.

Kenney said the goal is to help people launch their business successfully and to make that business sustainable.

“We want to be known as a space where you can come and be supported,” she said. “We are working diligently to make sure all those resources are aligned and thoughtful.”

Find out more at, call 252.492.6298 or email

One award winner was Southern Charm Event Center, which just opened its doors in July 2022. It’s already made a big impression in downtown Henderson, and was the location for the awards luncheon.

“As a new business owner in Henderson, I was honored not only to be recognized but also in having the privilege to be amongst Black-owned businesses that have been operating in our community for years,” said Shanika Ragland, owner of Southern Charm. “The highest reward I received that day was watching everyone gather in a space that we created.”

Twelve award winners were recognized across three categories:

  • Legacy: institutions which have been in operation at least 10 years but often much longer;
  • Established, those in operation 5–10 years; and
  • New Start, organizations which are less than 5 years old.

The atmosphere was one of celebration and camaraderie as friends and neighbors gathered to reflect on the hard work behind each organization. Some honorees displayed visible emotion during their acceptance speeches. Chalis S. Henderson, executive director of Turning Point CDC, was moved to tears as she accepted the Legacy award; it was her parents’ vision that led to the creation of Turning Point and its founding church, Oasis of Hope Ministries.

“The ceremony was a beautiful reminder of the great impact Black-owned businesses and Black-led nonprofits have on our region,” Henderson said afterward. “There was a resounding commitment to continue to serve our communities with the same strength and love that the organizations were founded on decades ago.”

Black-owned organizations still face unique obstacles to their success. State Farm Insurance agent Margier White, who received the Established award, acknowledged those challenges as she spoke at the event. Even so, she chooses to focus on the potential of the future rather than the struggles of the past.

“Receiving this award has filled me with pride, and I am grateful that my business was recognized and honored in this way,” said White. “This is one of the most significant events of my professional career.”

Sandra Wilkerson, president of Henderson-Vance County Chamber of Commerce, was among those in attendance. “The Chamber of Commerce is a huge supporter of small business, so it was an honor and privilege to attend this award ceremony,” she said. “Hearing the accomplishments of these business owners and knowing the impact and contributions they have all made to our community makes us work harder to support and partner with them.” VGCC has a long-standing history of supporting small local businesses. During the 2020-2021 academic year, VGCC President Dr. Rachel Desmarais took the Presidents for Entrepreneurship Pledge through the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE); this pledge includes specific action steps to advance entrepreneurship and create jobs across the country. The college was so successful in these entrepreneurial initiatives that NACCE named it the Heather Van Sickle Entrepreneurial College of the Year in October 2022.



  • Beckford Medical Center
  • Davis-Royster Funeral Service
  • Fogg’s Exxon
  • Franklin-Vance-Warren Opportunity
  • Fred’s Towing
  • Gang Free, Inc.
  • Ruth’s Beauty World
  • Tegarris Associates Realty
  • Turning Point CDC



  • Green Rural Redevelopment Organization (GRRO)
  • Margier White – State Farm Insurance Agency


New Start

  • Southern Charm Event Center