Locally-Based Gifted Faithful Ministries Assisting Orphans in India

-Information and photo courtesy Pastor Mike Holland, Gifted Faithful Ministries

Mike Holland, pastor of Gifted Faithful Ministries, is currently in India for a month to assist groups that house and care for orphans with sustainability projects.

“We have missions in Mexico City caring for and feeding homeless children there and are partners with several in India, one being a boy’s home,” said Holland. “I have spent a month helping with sustainability projects, as well as traveling and preaching throughout northern India.”

Gifted Faithful Ministries, based in Warren County, also assists people in crisis locally and throughout the country. “We help people in crisis locally, provide emergency housing when needed and are deeply involved with the Henderson Men’s Shelter. We also support several storm crisis events in NC and other states – such as Texas and Florida – and reach globally,” Holland said.

Speaking of global reach, Holland is glad that he can stay up-to-date on local news by tuning in to WIZS’ Town Talk program online from India. “It is pretty amazing that I can listen to Town Talk in a remote desert halfway around the world!”

For more information on the efforts of Gifted Faithful Ministries, please visit their website at www.giftedfaithful.org

Mike Holland, pastor of the Warren County-based Gifted Faithful Ministries, shown here with residents of a boy’s home in India (Photo Credit: Mike Holland)

Joyce Dewitt ‘Thrilled’ to Return to Role in ‘A Waffle House Christmas’

Henderson’s own downtown development director Kaine Riggan and special call-in guest and actress Joyce Dewitt were on air for Thursday’s edition of WIZS’ Town Talk program.

Riggan, writer, producer and director of the musical comedy “A Waffle House Christmas,” announced that the play will be performed at the McGregor Hall Performing Arts Center in downtown Henderson for one night only – Saturday, December 1, 2018 – at 8 p.m.

According to Riggan, approximately 600 of the 1,000 available tickets have already been purchased, and he hopes to see it become a sold-out performance. “I hope it happens for McGregor Hall and for downtown Henderson. That’s our crown jewel!”

The musical, which was first commissioned by the Metro Nashville Arts Commission in 2006, will feature five of the principal actors for the December performance, including Dewitt as Waffle House waitress Rita and country singer T. Graham Brown. Auditions for local actors to round out the cast were held last week.

Dewitt, most well-known for her role as Janet on the sitcom “Three’s Company,” said she was excited to return to this role. “In this case, I had done the play before with Kaine and I know that he is a very wonderful director and I know that he gathers terrific actors together. So the idea of coming back and doing this with a number of wonderful people that I did it with in Nashville was thrilling.”

The setting for the musical is a Waffle House in both the middle of nowhere and in the middle of a blizzard on Christmas Eve. The regular staff and customers are stranded there along with outside visitors. What unfolds are a few secrets, surprises and heartfelt human connections.

“The wonderful thing about these characters that Kaine has written is that they are so human, but what’s going on in their personal story is so meaningful,” said Dewitt. “The audience can relate to each of them.”

“It’s my favorite kind of material – funny, funny, funny – but also, at times, catching and poignant.”

According to Dewitt, when she is first approached about a role she asks herself if she believes in the material and if she can deliver the material in a way that will relate to the audience. She is pleased to have found both in this role.

“When the audience is walking out of the theater, what have we given them? What is in their heart? I genuinely believe this play is a perfect Christmas gift to give the audience.”

To give the gift of this play to yourself and/or a loved one, purchase tickets by:

DROP IN: 201 Breckenridge Street, Henderson, N.C. Monday – Friday 1:30 – 5:30 p.m

CALL: (252) 598-0662 (M-F 1:30 – 5:30 p.m.)

CLICK HERE: www.McGregorHall.org  (Use the eTix official site, online fees apply)

 To hear the interview in its entirety, please click here.

Registration Underway for Spring Semester at VGCC

 -Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Registration for classes has begun for the Spring 2019 semester at Vance-Granville Community College, which starts Monday, Jan. 7, 2019.

In addition to the traditional 16-week semester session, VGCC is offering a 12-week term, two 8-week terms and two 4-week terms for the Spring.

“We know that our students have busy lives, going to college, taking care of a family and working, in most cases,” said Jeff Allen, VGCC’s dean of enrollment and outreach. “Vance-Granville wants to meet students where they are and help them get to where they need to be. We recognize that flexibility in scheduling is more important than ever.”

The full 16-week semester, starting on Jan. 7, concludes on May 6. Hundreds of courses are being offered on each of the college’s four campuses in Vance, Granville, Franklin and Warren counties, and online courses are available, including eight curriculum programs offered totally online.

The four-week “Spring Forward” mini-term begins Dec. 17 with a registration deadline of Dec. 13. Classes for this session will end on Jan. 15. The session is designed for students who are home for the holidays and want to pick up extra classes to help them get ahead in their studies, Allen said. Most of the courses have credits that are transferable to other colleges and universities, but students are always encouraged to check with their advisers to guarantee transferability to other institutions. Course offerings include computers, criminal justice, American history, music appreciation, American government, psychology and sociology, among others.

A second four-week mini-term, labeled “March Forward,” is scheduled for March 5 through April 1, with a registration deadline of March 1. The course list for this mini-term includes management, criminal justice, success and study skills and college transfer success.

The first of two 8-week sessions will begin on Jan. 7 and run through March 5. The second 8-week session starts March 5 and concludes May 6, with a registration deadline of Feb. 28. These two mini-terms offer dozens of courses.

A 12-week mini-term also offering dozens of classes begins Feb. 5 and runs through May 6, the registration deadline coming Jan. 31.

All of the courses offer the full credits a student normally receives. The schedules for the mini-terms are compressed to allow students to complete the coursework in less time.

In addition to the curriculum courses are continuing education opportunities for those wanting job training or new skills or personal enrichment and basic skills for those seeking a high school equivalency or an adult high school diploma.

Registration for the 16-week Spring classes opened Thursday, Nov. 1, and closes on Thursday, Jan. 3. College officials advise students to apply for admission and financial aid, request transcripts from high school or other colleges and schedule a placement test. Students will then meet with an academic coach to register for classes, followed by an orientation session. Students are advised to register for classes as early as possible to secure the classes they need to take.

The upcoming semester’s course schedules and a link to ARCHES, the latest edition of the college’s guide to enrollment, are now available online at schedules.vgcc.edu.

The tuition payment deadline for the 16-week semester is Thursday, Jan. 3, by 5 p.m., if paying in person, or by midnight, if paying online through the college’s online WebAdvisor.

For more information, contact VGCC at studentsuccess[email protected] or (252) 738-3234, or visit any campus.

FINANCIAL AID AVAILABLE

Prospective students interested in seeking financial assistance are encouraged to immediately complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at www.fafsa.gov and to visit the VGCC Financial Aid Office.

Eligible students may receive Pell Grants ranging from $343 to $3,047 per semester. Students may also qualify for other college or state funds. The Financial Aid Office recommends completing the FAFSA and all financial aid documents by Wednesday, Dec. 12. In order for a student to charge tuition, fees, and books to financial aid awards, the student’s entire financial aid file must be completed prior to the tuition payment deadline of Thursday, Jan. 3. Students with preschool-age children may receive financial assistance to help pay for child care, and applications for this help are also available at the Financial Aid Office.

Information about other resources is available online at financialaid.vgcc.edu.

For more details regarding financial assistance, visit the Financial Aid Office in Room 8215 on Main Campus or call (252) 738-3280.

HELP FOR VETERANS

Military veterans who wish to use their Veterans’ Education benefits may contact the Financial Aid Office at (252) 738-3522. Veterans should check with Financial Aid to see if the programs in which they are interested are covered.

(This is not a paid advertisement)

Warren Co. High School to Host Curriculum Night – Thurs., Nov. 15

-Information courtesy Tannis Jenkins, Warren County High School

Warren County High School will host a curriculum night on Thursday, November 15, 2018, from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Participants will have the opportunity win door prizes and a turkey give away.

If you have any questions, please contact Tannis Jenkins at 252-257-4413 or email [email protected]

Small Business Summit Promotes Importance Of Online First Impression

-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Dozens of area entrepreneurs, small business owners, and business and non-profit leaders discovered the importance of having a powerful digital presence to create a positive first impression online at the seventh annual Small Business Summit.

Martin Brossman, a leading social media authority and business consultant, delivered the keynote address at the summit organized by the Vance-Granville Community College Small Business Center on Monday, Oct. 15. Under the theme of “Recipe for Success: Making Your Dream a Reality,” the summit was held in the Warren County Armory & Convention Center in Warrenton.

Social media authority Martin Brossman delivers the keynote address at the summit organized by the Vance-Granville Community College Small Business Center in October in the Warren County Armory & Convention Center in Warrenton. He told those in attendance that digital first impressions will lead to more sales and referrals for a business. (Photo: VGCC)

“Your future customers want to know more about you than just what is on your website, and they may trust you less if they don’t,” said Brossman. “We all are looking for secondary validation for everything from credible information for a product, business, person or service. This session is going to show you the free and low-cost ways to make the best digital — web-based — first impression that will lead to more sales and more referrals for your business.”

“As more professionals and businesses go online to promote their brands and expand their markets, they are looking for ways to become more effective,” Brossman said. The keynote address was designed not only for small business owners but also professionals of all types, he said. “They need to understand the value of a positive online reputation as well as the cost of having none at all,” he added.

Brossman was joined on the program by Kristen Baughman of Warrenton, the founder of the Tabletop Media Group in Raleigh, who presented “Top 10 Tips: How to Work with Media,” and a panel of four local and regional leaders who answered questions from the audience on the topics of planning and zoning, insurance, accounting and legal services in a discussion titled “Stock Your Pantry with the Right Business Resources.” On the panel were Ken Krulich of Warren County Planning & Zoning, Jennifer Burton with O.L. Meek Insurance in Warrenton, Certified Public Accountant Susan Bersch of Littleton, and Volunteer Attorney Kate McCullough with the North Carolina Lawyers for Entrepreneurs Assistance Program (NCLEAP) of the North Carolina State Bar. The discussion was moderated by Tanya Weary, director of the VGCC Small Business Center.

Duke Energy was the presenting sponsor for the summit. Local partners working with the VGCC Small Business Center to organize the event were the Chamber of Commerce of Warren County, the Warren County Economic Development Commission and the Lake Gaston Regional Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center. In-kind sponsors of the summit were the Lake Gaston Gazette-Observer of Littleton, The Daily Dispatch of Henderson, The Warren Record of Warrenton, WARR 1520 AM of Warrenton, and WIZS 1450 AM/100.1 FM of Henderson. Centerpiece arrangements were provided by Lola G of Oxford.

From left: Volunteer Attorney Kate McCullough with the North Carolina Lawyers for Entrepreneurs Assistance Program (NCLEAP) of the North Carolina State Bar, Ken Krulich of Warren County Planning & Zoning, Jennifer Burton with O.L. Meek Insurance in Warrenton, and Certified Public Accountant Susan Bersch of Littleton. (Photo: VGCC)

Brossman was described by Weary as a dynamic trainer known for his insight and humor. As a member of the National Speakers Association, he is a popular speaker on many professional development and business topics, including Online Reputations: Reputation Enhancement, Monitoring, and Management; Transforming Conflict Into Enhanced Relationships in Business; Creating Raving Fans and Repeat Business; Customer Service in a Customer Empowered World; Overcoming the Fear of Public Speaking; Communication That Gets More Results; Beyond Ordinary Networking; Being Effective as an Entrepreneur and Business Owner; Referral Marketing; Dragonfly Thinking Training: How to Integrate Effective Problem Solving Into Your Work to Get Superior Results (taught with Dr. Bruce Oberhardt); and LinkedIn for Professionals.

Brossman teaches across North Carolina, including a certification program through N.C. State University’s Technology Training Solutions. He is a leading authority on LinkedIn, Reputation Management, and building a positive digital presence. He has co-hosted a leading podcast on Social Selling for since 2009, “Linking Into Sales.”

A Flickr album of photographs from the Business Summit is available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/vancegranvillecc/albums/72157701580003271.

Kerr-Tar to Hold Public Open House for Division Needs Transportation Projects

-Information courtesy Stephanie A. Harmon, Regional Planner, Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments

The public is invited to an open house on Thursday, November 15, to express their opinions on the Division Needs transportation projects in Franklin, Granville, Person, Vance, and Warren Counties being considered for inclusion in the NCDOT 2020-2029 State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP). The STIP is a 10-year plan that identifies funding for projects throughout North Carolina and schedules them for construction.

The Kerr-Tar Regional Transportation Planning Organization (KTRPO) will hold an informal open house on Thursday, November 15 at the Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments’ office, 1724 Graham Avenue, Henderson, NC from 5 to 7 p.m. Residents will be able to view all potential projects and provide feedback. KTRPO staff will be present to answer any questions and address any concerns.

For those unable to attend the open house, the projects are available for review on the Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments’ website: http://www.kerrtarcog.org/. Comments may be submitted via email to [email protected] Please include P5 Division Needs Projects Comments in the subject line.

For more information, please contact (252) 436-2040, [email protected]

NC Navigators to Help North Carolinians Enroll in Health Insurance Plans

-Press Release, Legal Aid of NC, NC Navigator Consortium 

NC navigators are here to help North Carolinians enroll in affordable, comprehensive health insurance plans on HealthCare.gov during the Affordable Care Act’s sixth open-enrollment period, which starts today and runs through Dec. 15, 2018.

Throughout open enrollment, North Carolina consumers can call 1-855-733-3711 (toll-free) or visit ncnavigator.net to schedule a free, confidential, in-person appointment with a certified NC navigator in their area.

NC navigators are trained to help consumers enroll in coverage on the Health Insurance Marketplace at HealthCare.gov, the online storefront that consumers can visit to browse and enroll in affordable, comprehensive health insurance plans.

NC navigators can help consumers understand the details of the plans available on HealthCare.gov, complete the enrollment process and determine their eligibility for financial assistance. Last year, nine in 10 North Carolinians who enrolled in coverage on HealthCare.gov received financial assistance.

During this open enrollment period, NC navigators will help consumers understand the differences between the comprehensive plans available on HealthCare.gov and the new alternative plans, known as short-term, limited-duration (STLD) insurance, or association plans, which provide less coverage and patient protections than HealthCare.gov plans.

Every insurance plan available on HealthCare.gov provides comprehensive, year-round coverage that includes essential benefits like prescription drugs, hospital visits, mental health care, maternity care, doctor visits and more. HealthCare.gov plans also include important patient protections, including one that prohibits insurers from denying coverage for pre-existing medical conditions. HealthCare.gov plans automatically renew every year, so consumers do not experience gaps in coverage.

The alternative plans, which are not available on HealthCare.gov, do not necessarily provide year-round coverage; do not have to cover essential health benefits like prescription drugs, hospital visits, mental health care, maternity care and doctor visits; allow insurers to deny coverage for pre-existing conditions; and do not automatically renew, which could leave consumers with gaps in coverage.

HealthCare.gov is the only place to get quality, affordable health insurance that covers everything you need,” Mark Van Arnam, co-director of the NC Navigator Consortium, said. “Navigators are here to help North Carolinians understand all their options and find the plan that best meets their needs and fits their budget.”

“We want consumers to know that financial assistance is still available,” Eunice Lee-Ahn, co-director of the Consortium, said. “Most North Carolinians enrolled in a HealthCare.gov plan get financial help that lowers their monthly cost to about the same as a cell phone. Navigators can help consumers determine if they are eligible for financial assistance and sign up for it as part of the enrollment process.”

North Carolinians who are already enrolled in a HealthCare.gov plan will automatically get re-enrolled in 2019 coverage, but navigators are urging consumers to check back in to see if a more suitable plan is available. Rates have dropped in some areas, so consumers might be able to find a plan that offers equivalent or better coverage for cheaper.

(This is not a paid advertisement)

2018 Eastern District Election Officer Appointed

-Press Release, U.S. Department of Justice

United States Attorney Robert J. Higdon, Jr. announced today that Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) Robin Pendergraft, Chief of the Criminal Division will lead the efforts of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in connection with the Justice Department’s nationwide Election Day Program for the upcoming November 6, 2018, general elections. AUSA Pendergraft has been appointed to serve as the District Election Officer (DEO) for the Eastern District of North Carolina, and in that capacity is responsible for overseeing the District’s handling of any complaints of election fraud or voting rights abuses in consultation with Justice Department Headquarters in Washington.

“Every citizen must be able to vote without interference or discrimination and to have that vote counted without it being stolen because of fraud,” said United Staes Attorney Higdon. “The Department of Justice is dedicated to protecting the integrity of the election process.”

The Department of Justice has an important role in deterring election fraud and discrimination at the polls and combating these violations whenever and wherever they occur. The Department’s long-standing Election Day Program furthers these goals, and also seeks to ensure public confidence in the integrity of the election process by providing local points of contact within the Department for the public to report possible election fraud and voting rights violations while the polls are open on election day.

Federal law protects against such crimes as intimidating or bribing voters, buying and selling votes, impersonating voters, altering vote tallies, stuffing ballot boxes, and marking ballots for voters against their wishes or without their input. It also contains special protections for the rights of voters and provides that they can vote free from acts that intimidate or harass them. For example, actions of persons designed to interrupt or intimidate voters at polling places by questioning or challenging them, or by photographing or videotaping them, under the pretext that these are actions to uncover illegal voting may violate federal voting rights law. Further, federal law protects the right of voters to mark their own ballot or to be assisted by a person of their choice.

The franchise is the cornerstone of American democracy. We all must ensure that those who are entitled to the franchise may exercise it if they choose, and that those who seek to corrupt the voting process are brought to justice. In order to respond to complaints of election fraud or voting rights abuses on November 6, 2018, and to ensure that such complaints are directed to the appropriate authorities, United States Attorney Higdon stated that AUSA/DEO Pendergraft will be on duty in this District while the polls are open. She can be reached by the public at the following telephone number: 919-856-4530.

In addition, the FBI will have special agents available in each field office and resident agency throughout the country to receive allegations of election fraud and other election abuses on election day. The Raleigh FBI field office can be reached by the public at 919-380-4500.

Complaints about possible violations of the federal voting rights laws can be made directly to the Civil Rights Division’s Voting Section in Washington, DC by phone at 1-800-253-3931 or (202) 307-2767, by fax at (202) 307-3961, by email to [email protected] or by complaint form at http://www.justice.gov/crt/complaint/votintake/index.php.

United States Attorney Higdon said, “Ensuring free and fair elections depends in large part on the cooperation of the American electorate. It is imperative that those who have specific information about discrimination or election fraud make that information available immediately to my Office, the FBI, or the Civil Rights Division.”

News releases are available on the U.S. Attorney’s webpage at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce. Follow us on twitter @USAO_EDNC.

VGCC Honors 10 In Emergency Medical Tech-Paramedic Program

-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Vance-Granville Community College honored 10 students who completed the college’s Emergency Medical Technician-Paramedic program in August.

The graduates included Kaylee Bradsher of Roxboro, Joseph Carpunky of Henderson, Reginald Collins of Henderson, Paul Currin of Norlina, Lawrence Green of Wake Forest, Kaylelynn Grindstaff of Louisburg, William Holder of Roxboro, Abigail Milton of Henderson, Aaron Porterfield of Wake Forest, and Mario Wright of Henderson.

The class, which began in August 2017, was instructed by Vivian Loyd, a Registered Nurse and Paramedic Level II instructor.

Above: Seated, from left, are Mario Wright, Paul Currin, Kaylelynn Grindstaff, Abigail Milton, and William Holder; standing, from left, instructor Vivian Loyd, Aaron Porterfield, Lawrence Green, Kaylee Bradsher, Reginald Collins, Joseph Carpunky, and EMS Coordinator Stephen Barney. (VGCC photo)

EMT-Paramedic instruction includes 660 hours of didactic (classroom) training and 400 hours of clinical education, or field internship. To be eligible to take the EMT-P course, students had to have already completed a 203-hour EMT-Basic course and passed a state exam.

An EMT-Paramedic has enhanced skills beyond the EMT-Basic level, including being able to administer additional interventions and medications. The EMT-P delivers the highest level of pre-hospital medical care in North Carolina.

Students had to pass several different exams, including a “scope of practice” exam, in order to successfully complete the EMT-P course. The scenario-based evaluation tested the hands-on and critical thinking skills of students as they delivered the appropriate treatment to multiple trauma patients and dealt with pediatric, environmental, and mental illness situations. Each student also had to complete an 80-hour Anatomy and Physiology course.

With the completion of the EMT-P course, the students take the 100-question North Carolina Office of Emergency Medical Services credentialing exam to become state-certified.

VGCC offers Emergency Medical Services training from the basic to the Paramedic level, in addition to continuing education, with most of the classes being taught in Building 10, the new home for Emergency Medical Services training, located on Main Campus across from the main entrance to the college. For more information on enrolling in these courses, call EMS Coordinator/instructor Stephen Barney at (252) 738-3273.

Warrenton Man Indicted for Drug Distribution & Firearm Charges

-Press Release, U.S. Dept. of Justice 

Robert J. Higdon, Jr., the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, announces that a Federal grand jury in Raleigh has returned a three-count indictment charging ROBERT FULTON BACON, a/k/a “Face,” age 32, of Warrenton, North Carolina, with one count of possessing a firearm and ammunition as a convicted felon and two counts of possessing with the intent to distribute cocaine and crack cocaine.

If convicted of these charges, BACON would face maximum penalties of 20 years’ imprisonment, and at least 3 years or up to life of supervised release following any term of imprisonment.

The charges and allegations contained in the Indictment are merely accusations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

The case is being investigated by the Warren County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Robert J. Dodson is prosecuting the case for the government.

News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s webpage at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce. Follow us on Twitter @USAO_EDNC