Town Talk 08/08/19: Owens, Mayoral Candidate, Discusses ‘Concern’ for Henderson

100.1 FM / 1450 AM WIZS; Local News broadcasts M-F 8am, 12pm, 5pm

Sharon Owens, candidate for the position of Henderson Mayor, was the guest of honor on Thursday’s edition of WIZS’ Town Talk.

A resident of Montgomery Street in Henderson, Owens is running against incumbent Eddie Ellington in the October 8, 2019, City of Henderson election.

Noting that her decision to run for mayor has been a topic of much self-reflection over the past year, Owens, a budget analyst with Durham Public Schools and an evangelist with Greater Refuge Church Henderson, said it was both prayer and her concern for the City of Henderson that led her to file.

Sharon Owens, candidate for the position of Henderson Mayor, is running against incumbent Eddie Ellington in the October 8, 2019, City of Henderson election. (Photo courtesy Sharon Owens)

“I have a deep concern for the City of Henderson,” Owens said. “When I look at the area now and compare it with other cities of the same size, or even compare it to our past, I am concerned.”

Owens, who has lived in Henderson all of her life minus a year she spent in Richmond, VA, said she is saddened by what issues such as crime, drugs, gangs and lack of viable job opportunities have done to the area she calls home.

“It breaks my heart when I look at how the downtown buildings have gone down, the stores have moved; nothing is like it used to be,” lamented Owens. “I can’t help but wonder what is the mindset of the City Council for downtown development and the city as a whole.”

Citing economic development as one of Henderson’s major issues, Owens said she would like to focus on bringing more jobs to the area by offering companies additional incentives. “We need to give some kind of incentive for jobs to come to the City of Henderson. When people have income and good housing, it makes them feel good about themselves and makes them want to do better.”

Acknowledging that the mayor works very closely with the city manager, Owens said she’d like to see those two positions take a more grassroots approach to affecting change in the community.

“I think that relationship should be such that we could go out into neighborhoods and talk to people at their level about [issues such as] drugs, gangs and murder, talk to people who it directly affects,” said Owens. “If we are being honest, it does not affect everyone.”

After stating the entire City of Henderson should be treated as a whole, Owens conceded, “Some areas of the city require a little more attention than others, especially the areas of high poverty.”

Owens said that she feels progress is being made in addressing issues that often accompany areas of high poverty but believes more can be done. She also believes that she is just the person to do it.

“I’m not saying that the Mayor and City Council aren’t doing a great job; they are doing a magnificent job,” Owens said.”I just believe that I can take it a little bit further.”

For more information on Owens’ campaign, visit her website by clicking here.

(This is not a paid political advertisement. WIZS is in communication with incumbent Eddie Ellington to participate in a similar interview.)

To hear Owens’ Town Talk interview in its entirety, please click the play button below. Listen live to WIZS’ Town Talk Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. on 1450AM, 100.1 FM or online at www.wizs.com.

Garrison Says He’ll ‘Continue Seeking Relocation of DHHS’ to Granville County

100.1 FM / 1450 AM WIZS; Local News broadcasts M-F 8am, 12pm, 5pm

As stated by NC House District 32 Representative Terry Garrison in his recent newsletter message:

Passing a biennium budget during a long session and odd year of the North Carolina General Assembly is the most important work that this legislative body will do while in session. During this 2019-2020 session of the General Assembly, both chambers of the NC House and NC Senate passed its version of a biennium budget in June.

The two budget versions had differences which then required them to be referred to a Conference Committee to develop a consensus budget. A consensus budget was completed and approved largely along political party lines. As Republicans hold majority memberships in both the House and Senate, they also largely comprised the Consensus Committee. As a result, the Consensus Bill, HB 966, 2019 Appropriations Act was also approved along political party lines, on June 27, 2019.

HB 966 (Appropriations Act) did not include Medicaid Expansion which was the number one budget priority for Democratic Governor Roy Cooper and the Democratic Party. Additionally, the conference budget did not allow citizens a choice on deciding whether to invest in a bond for much-needed school construction as desired by the Governor.

Further, the conference budget provides an average of 3.8% teacher pay increase as opposed to 9.1% sought by the Governor; gives all state employees a $1,000 raise as opposed to 2% or $800 raise, whichever is greater; and provides a 1% cost of living increase for state retirees as opposed to a 2% cost of living increase sought by the Governor.

A few differences between the conference committee and the Governor’s budget are shared here, but there a number of other differences between the two budgets which were objected to by Democrats in both the House and Senate as well as the Governor.

The Republicans included a number of perks within the conference bill which mainly benefited their constituents.

The relocation of the headquarters of the NC Department of Health and Human Services to Granville County was included in the conference budget by the Senate without any special conditions. However, the House changed the relocation to the Triangle North Granville Business and Industrial site in Oxford on condition of my commitment to override the Governor’s veto of the budget. While I fully support the relocation of DHHS to Granville County, and particularly to the Triangle North Granville site, I cannot in good conscience vote to override the Governor’s veto.

Governor Cooper vetoed HB 966 as expected. The state is currently operating under a continuing budget resolution, or more specifically, operating under the 2018 budget until a new biennium budget is passed. A vote on the override of the Governor’s veto is pending and has not occurred as of this time. If an override of the Governor’s veto of budget does not occur, then the budget will have to be renegotiated until a consensus budget can be achieved.

It is my plan to continue seeking relocation of DHHS to Granville County, and particularly to the Triangle North site. While the Governor is leaning toward a study bill for the relocation of DHHS, I am optimistic that Granville County will remain the target site for consideration of such project relocation.

Further, it is my goal to advocate for more jobs and related initiatives promoted by the state within Granville, Vance and Warren Counties within this upcoming biennium.

One-Stop Early Voting Begins Today, Click for Vance Co. Locations & Times

-Information courtesy the Vance County Board of Elections website

ONE-STOP SCHEDULE FOR 2018 NOVEMBER GENERAL ELECTION

One-stop early voting begins Wednesday, October 17 and ends Saturday, November 3, 2018. The schedules for the Vance County early voting sites – Board of Elections Office and Henderson Operations Center – are listed below.

Board of Elections Office – 300 S. Garnett St.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018 – 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM

Thursday, October 18, 2018 – 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM

Friday, October 19, 2018 – 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM

Saturday, October 20, 2018 – CLOSED

Sunday, October 21, 2018 – CLOSED

Monday, October 22, 2018 – 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM

Tuesday, October 23, 2018 – 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM

Wednesday, October 24, 2018 – 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM

Thursday, October 25, 2018 – 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM

Friday, October 26, 2018 – 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM

Saturday, October 27, 2018 – CLOSED

Sunday, October 28, 2018 – CLOSED

Monday, October 29, 2018 – 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM

Tuesday, October 30, 2018 – 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM

Wednesday, October 31, 2018 – 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM

Thursday, November 1, 2018 – 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM

Friday, November 2, 2018 – 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM

Saturday, November 3, 2018 – 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM

——————————————————————————————————————————————————

Henderson Operations Center – 900 S. Beckford Drive

Wednesday, October 17, 2018 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM

Thursday, October 18, 2018 – 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM

Friday, October 19, 2018 – 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM

Saturday, October 20, 2018 – CLOSED

Sunday, October 21, 2018 – CLOSED

Monday, October 22, 2018 – 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM

Tuesday, October 23, 2018 – 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM

Wednesday, October 24, 2018 – 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM

Thursday, October 25, 2018 – 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM

Friday, October 26, 2018 – 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM

Saturday, October 27, 2018 – CLOSED

Sunday, October 28, 2018 – CLOSED

Monday, October 29, 2018 – 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM

Tuesday, October 30, 2018 – 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM

Wednesday, October 31, 2018 – 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM

Thursday, November 1, 2018 – 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM

Friday, November 2, 2018 – 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM

Saturday, November 3, 2018 – 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM

Public Forum for Sheriff of Vance County Candidates

The Daily Dispatch, The Henderson-Vance Chamber of Commerce and WIZS 1450 AM / 100.1 FM will host a public forum for Sheriff of Vance County Candidates on Sunday, October 14, 2018.

The forum will take place at the old court house on Young Street in the County Commissioners Meeting Room, and it will begin at 3 p.m. and last for approximately two hours.

WIZS 1450 AM / 100.1 FM will broadcast the forum in its entirety on a slight delay to accommodate the completion of the Carolina Panthers at Washington Redskins football game.  The first half of the forum will begin airing via “tape” delay at 4 p.m. and it will simply continue on uninterrupted on the air.

The goal is to help citizens discern the differences among the candidates prior to the start of early voting in Vance County.

The Vance County Board of Elections web page says, “One-Stop Early Voting starts: Wednesday, October 17, 2018 and ends on Saturday, November 3, 2018. Locations and time will be announced as soon as the one-stop plan is approved.”

Mailed absentee ballots are already underway and continue until October 30, 2018 at 5 p.m.

Election day is Tuesday, November 6.   All polling sites will be open from 6:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m.  WIZS will provide live election results starting at 7:30 p.m. when the polls close.

Voter registration is available nowadays online, and for that you can click here.  Once you have filled form out, send it to the Vance County Board of Elections Office at 300 S. Garnett Street, Henderson, NC. 27536 if you are a resident of Vance County.

The public is strongly encouraged to attend the forum.

Each candidate will have an opportunity to make an opening statement followed by a question and answer session from representatives of The Chamber, The Dispatch and WIZS. Each candidate will also be given the opportunity to make a two-minute closing statement.

The public will be given an opportunity to suggest the questions that will be asked at the forum. Those questions should be submitted to [email protected]. Prior to the forum, a panel represented by the media and the Chamber’s governmental affairs committee will select the order of questions.

The public will also be given the chance to submit questions to the panel on the day of the forum.  For more information, contact the Chamber of Commerce at 438-8414 or [email protected].

Vance Co. Republican Party to Hold “Get Out The Vote” Rally at Pool Rock

-Information courtesy Judy Satterwhite, Vance County Republican Party

Vance County GOP will hold a “Get Out The Vote” Rally and free hot dog dinner on Thursday, October 4, 2018, at 6 p.m. – until at Pool Rock Plantation, 1305 Pool Rock Road (off Hwy 39 North) in Henderson.

Live music will be provided by Jimmy Barrier & Friends.

Meet the Candidates:

Roger Allison (U.S. House of Representatives)
Chuck Early (N.C. Senate)
Charles Pulley (Vance County Sheriff)
Mark Robinson (speaking on Freedom, NRA, 2nd Amendment)
& other candidates

All Republicans, conservatives and “anyone that loves America” is welcome.

(This is not a paid advertisement)

Simmons to Hold Additional ‘Coffee With a Candidate’ Events in Sept.

-Information courtesy Tiarra L. Mosley, Campaign Manager, the Committee for Allen Simmons for Vance County Sheriff

The community is invited to meet Allen Simmons, candidate for Vance County Sheriff, at a series of Wednesday “Coffee With a Candidate” events being held in September.

These events will allow citizens of Vance County to come and have time to meet with Allen Simmons and discuss some of their concerns and/or wishes.

September 5, 2018: 7 – 9 a.m. at Hardee’s
September 12, 2018: 8 – 10 a.m. at Bojangles on E. Andrews Ave.
September 19, 2018: 8 – 10 a.m. at Bojangles on Dabney Dr.
September 26, 2018: 7 – 9 a.m. at Hardees’s

(This is not a paid advertisement)

Filing Underway for Soil & Water Conservation District Supervisor

-Information courtesy Faye Gill, Director, Vance County Board of Elections

Filing for Soil & Water Conservation District Supervisor is from now until Friday, July 6, 2018, at 12:00 noon. The filing fee is $5.00.

The Board of Elections will be opened during lunch for filing. We will be closed on Wednesday, July 4th. Should you have any questions about filing, contact the Board of Elections at 252-492-3730.

Curtis R. Brame – Vance Co. Sheriff Candidate Q&A

Name: Curtis R. Brame

Candidate For: Vance County Sheriff

Age: 55

Town of Residence: Henderson

Previous position(s) held: Deputy, Sergeant, Lieutenant Captain, Sheriff’s Command Staff, Personnel Board, Assistant to Administrative Captain

Degrees/Certifications Earned: Basic Law Enforcement Certified; Actively Sworn; 33 years of continued education

Endorsements: Vance County Sheriff Peter White

 

What motivated you to run for Vance County Sheriff?

 I enjoy serving and protecting the citizens of Vance County. I’m tired of watching our citizens live in fear. I want the opportunity to restore some sense of security, ensure safety in our communities, schools, church and work.

 

What distinguishes you from other candidates?

Talking to people and being proactive is my character and keeps me in touch with the needs of our community. With 33 years as a law enforcement officer, I am confident in saying I am well trained and skilled, possess a strong work ethic and have an excellent work history.  I believe in being fair and standing behind everything I do.

I’ve worked in every division through the Vance County Sheriff’s Office. I was hired as a deputy, later promoted to Sergeant, then Lieutenant, served as part of the Sheriff’s Command Staff and later retired with the rank of Captain. I believe in filling in the gap between law enforcement and the people we serve.

 

What do you believe is the single most important skill to possess in order to be a successful sheriff?

The ability to not only hear the concerns of the citizen but to also listen to what is important to them.

 

If elected, would you keep the Sheriff’s department moving along its current path or change the course?

As a new administrator, I would make some adjustments, modifications and do some re-organization.

 

What do you believe is the biggest concern facing Vance County today and what would you do as Sheriff to address that concern?

Narcotics/illegal and prescription drugs and illegal use of firearms; proactive stand, joint enforcement task force. I would like to see more drug and weapons-related cases tried at the Federal Court level for the convicted to receive longer and stiffer penalties.

We need more resources for individuals with addictions. We also need places to go and things for our children and teenagers to do for growth and recreational purposes. My plan is to also increase personnel to have more manpower in the department to provide adequate services for our citizens.

 

(The photo accompanying this article provided by Curtis R. Brame)

Melissa Elliott – Vance Co. Sheriff Candidate Q&A

Name: Melissa Elliott

Candidate For: Vance County Sheriff

Age: 48

Town of Residence: Henderson

Previous position(s) held: Gang Resource Officer; Jail Liaison; Vance County Sheriff Office 911 Dispatcher; Correctional Officer; Correctional Case Manager; Gang Intel Committee; Family Enrichment Worker

Degrees/Certifications Earned: Associate Degree in Criminal Justice – Vance-Granville Community College; Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice – St. Augustine University; Master of Public Administration – Strayer University; Post Master’s Certificate in Criminal Justice; General Instructor – Criminal Justice

 

What motivated you to run for Vance County Sheriff?

I am running for the Office of the Sheriff to better the community in which I live and serve by implementing innovative strategies that would increase the safety in our community, as well as bring a greater quality of life to all of our citizens.

As a young girl, I felt compassion towards the needs of others and as a young woman acknowledged there was a great call of “leadership” on my life. Now, I am a community champion who embraces the call of God to bring change in areas that seemingly are difficult.

I am grateful and deem it an honor to be considered to serve the citizens of Vance County in the capacity of Sheriff.

 

What distinguishes you from other candidates?

I feel distinguished in this election for Sheriff in several different ways. First and foremost, I am a woman who fears God AND I am accessible to ALL people. I have proven my loyalty and dedication over the years in this community as one who hurdles over challenges and yields positive results and solutions.

Secondly, I have the educational background that, unmatched by any other candidate, makes me extremely and uniquely qualified and knowledgeable in the areas of crime prevention, as well as other evidence-based strategies that have been implemented by other jurisdictions. My Master’s degree in Public Administration (MPA) allows me to demonstrate knowledge, skills and abilities that are pertinent to leading the Office of Sheriff.

The trust that I have garnered in the community, along with my diverse background in criminal justice (in several capacities) and my educational background (MPA, Post Master’s Certificate and Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice) have prepared me for the tasks that lie ahead.

Lastly, I have extensive knowledge on a societal issue (gangs) that has plagued many communities. My in-depth research and relationships in criminal street gangs will also illuminate strategies that will prevent many youths from becoming emerged in a life that only ends in tragedy; intervene to save lives and suppress those who have no desire to change.

 

What do you believe is the single most important skill to possess in order to be a successful sheriff?

The single most important skill to possess to be a successful sheriff is communication. Oral and written communication is key in the daily operation of any administration. The Sheriff needs to be able to effectively communicate with his or her staff, the public and the citizens that have elected them to serve. Communication involves executing directives, listening to the concerns of others to create and implement effective strategies for all who are involved.

 

If elected, would you keep the Sheriff’s department moving along its current path or change the course?

As the elected Sheriff, I would assess the effectiveness of all units and daily operations. After the assessment is complete, I would gradually implement strategies to improve the quality of service for citizens of our great county. I do not believe in recreating the wheel; however, I do believe in improvement. Training would be an essential tool as well as programs and evidence-based strategies for a more proactive approach to the challenges our community faces.

I strongly believe in prevention i.e. G.R.E.A.T. (Gang Resistance Education and Training), the Dare Program, the Step Up Initiative and other programs that would address mental illness and substance abuse disorders. Community Watch is also an extremely important program that would continue its momentum with workshops and speakers who bring information to the citizens as well as listening to the concerns of the community.

 

What do you believe is the biggest concern facing Vance County today and what would you do as Sheriff to address that concern?

Vance County has several concerns that are interrelated and it is extremely difficult to address only one and believe that the problem is fixed. Economic growth and development, or lack thereof, which has caused an extremely high poverty rate in Vance County has developed many challenges that we face. Gun violence, substance abuse, gangs, recidivism, changing the trajectory of our children’s future, weapons reduction; the list can go on and on.

As the Sheriff of Vance County, I would hone in on prevention with our youth in the way of programs, by assigning deputies to work with students in the elementary school as well as the community through the G.R.E.A.T. program and partner with churches, nonprofits and other stakeholders to increase positive impact.

To reduce gang activity and criminal offenses I would implement a gang unit to focus on gang culture, trends and criminal activity, as well as put in place a system to classify and identify gang members in our community. I would also continue the momentum with the gun buyback program to obtain firearms.

Working previously in the Vance County Jail as well as the North Carolina Department of Public Safety has given me direct insight on the classification of offenders and the evidence-based programs that will assist in a productive transition. Obtaining the status from the Federal government to name our county as a HIDTA (High Intense Drug Traffic Area) would assist in many ways. The HIDTA program currently funds 752 initiatives throughout the nation, including:

  • Enforcement initiatives comprising multi-agency investigative, interdiction, and prosecution activities;
  • Intelligence and information-sharing initiatives;
  • Support for programs that provide assistance beyond the core enforcement and intelligence and information-sharing initiatives; and
  • Drug use prevention and drug treatment initiatives

As the Sheriff of Vance County, I would listen to the citizens and their concerns as well as be accessible to all people by communicating effectively.

 

(The photo accompanying this article provided by Melissa Elliott.)

Billy Gooch – Vance Co. Sheriff Candidate Q&A

Name: Billy Gooch

Candidate For: Vance County Sheriff

Age: 37

Town of Residence: Henderson

Previous position(s) held: Sergeant of Criminal Investigation Division/K-9 Handler at Vance County Sheriff’s Office

Degrees/Certifications Earned: Basic Law Enforcement Training; Radar Operator Certification; DCI Certification; Police Law Institute Training; Narcotics Investigation; First Line Supervision; Taser Certification; Comprehensive Roadside Criminal Interdiction; Precision and Pursuit Driver Training; Police Law Institute Training for Supervisors; K-9 Instructor; NCAware Certification; CJ Leads Certification and NC Linx Certification

 

What motivated you to run for Vance County Sheriff?

Not only as a law enforcement officer but also as a citizen of Vance County I was tired of seeing the community I was born and raised in continue to spiral downhill due to violence and drug activity. This is one of the reasons I decided to run for sheriff so I can bring the community back together and help pave a safer future for our youth.

 

What distinguishes you from other candidates?

I am young, energetic, honest and approachable. I don’t believe in being a paper-pusher or being absent from my duties. I want to be out in the community with my deputies being proactive and visible with a hands-on approach.

I have dedicated 15 and a half years of my life to serving the citizens of Vance County.  Even as a supervisor, I have served search warrants, executed drug raids, investigated crime scenes, worked murder investigations and performed K-9 tracks/searches. I will be a working Sheriff.

I know what it will take to make the department run more smoothly and efficiently. Being Sheriff of Vance County is more than just a title to me, it’s about stepping up to be a strong leader for our community, it’s about having more youth involvement as they are our future, and it’s about ensuring that the citizens in our county feel safe.

 

What do you believe is the single most important skill to possess in order to be a successful sheriff?

In order to be a successful sheriff, you need to have strong leadership skills.  Strong leadership will instill in our deputies the eagerness to perform their job in a professional manner and to the best of their ability.  It will increase morale in the department which will restore a sense of pride and dignity in our deputies.

A strong leader will also regain trust in the community through effective communication and an open door policy.  We need a strong leader that is engaged in the community and keeps the community informed.

 

If elected, would you keep the Sheriff’s department moving along its current path or change the course?

After being employed with the Vance County Sheriff’s Office for the past 15 years I have noticed some issues within the department’s chain of command.  I feel that I could make improvements by moving positions around to help the department run more smoothly and efficiently.

I would also like to bring in more experienced deputies. I have reached out to several past certified employees of the Sheriff’s Office who have expressed interest in coming back to the department to help me reach my goal of filling vacant positions.

The Sheriff’s Department needs to become more involved in the community, especially with our youth. I would like to build better relationships and trust between law enforcement and our citizens by hosting events that would bring the two together.

 

What do you believe is the biggest concern facing Vance County today and what would you do as Sheriff to address that concern?

I believe the biggest concern facing Vance County today is the opioid epidemic. Other crimes such as theft, burglary, assault, and murder also stem from drug activity. As Sheriff, I would expand our narcotics unit and make sure that the unit is fully staffed with experienced deputies that already have connections with state and federal agencies. A solid connection will allow us to speed up conviction rates of repeat offenders and make sure they are served with harsher sentencing.

I would also bring back the drug interdiction unit in an effort to intercept narcotics being transported through our county via major highways.  I would like to introduce a special enforcement unit to concentrate on high crime areas throughout the county. I would also implement drug awareness and prevention programs in our schools. By taking a proactive approach to our drug problem the crime rate in Vance County will gradually decrease.

 

The photo accompanying this article provided by Billy Gooch.