Warren Farmers Market Gets $500,000 Grant To Build Pavilion On Former Fairground Property


The Warren County Farmers Market is closer to becoming a reality, thanks to a $500,000 grant from the Tobacco Trust Fund.

Danylu Hundley, chairperson of the Warren County Growers Association, said when the county incorporated into its strategic plan having a permanent home for the county’s only farmers market, it was a game-changer.

“I was on the committee that was formed to seek funding for a permanent structure for the farmers market,” Hundley said in a recent telephone interview.

This 20-member committee divided itself into three subcommittees, and Hundley chaired the funding subcommittee. The other subcommittees looked into finding a location for the local market, as well as types of structures that other markets use.

Warren County got $300,000 from the N.C. Department of Commerce’s distribution of American Rescue Plan funds in July 2022, which was used to purchase the Warren County Agriculture Fairgrounds.

Hundley said having a site for a farmers market made their application to the Tobacco Trust Fund more attractive. “I’ve been in touch with the Tobacco Trust Fund for years,” Hundley explained. “The sticking point was we didn’t own any property.”

This property provides plenty of space for parking and for the proposed 9,000 square foot structure, which most likely will be a pavilion-style building – open sides with a deep overhang to allow vendors protection from the elements.

According to information on the Tobacco Trust Fund website, the permanent area will also provide an office for creating a new farmers market manager.

The open-air pavilion with attached indoor space will allow for COVID-safe practices in the future.

The farmers market has been located in several different locations, including bank parking lots to, most recently, the Warren County Health Department.

Hundley said Warren County Manager Vincent Jones suggested the market set up shop at the health department. “It was the first time we ever really thought about growing,” she said. “We were able to see that with more space, we could have more vendors,” Hundley added.

Having a permanent location will help vendors and customers as well. In addition to being able to use EBT to purchase local produce, meat, eggs and more, the market facility will be used to host health education events such as cooking classes, weight management activities and gardening sessions.

“Warren County has a rich agrarian history that we are proud of,’ said Jones, adding that the farmers market “will allow small to large farmers a market for their goods and provide our residents and neighbors with locally grown, fresh food that lessens the impact of food deserts in some areas.

The county also intends to reactivate the former fairgrounds space for community use including private events, public gatherings, festivals, and other community-oriented activities.

“A well-developed market can also serve as a tourism draw, as well. The recent holiday market saw over 500 visitors to the market in the heart of the town of Warrenton. We think this only means positive things to come,” Jones said.

Paul McKenzie, interim director of the Warren County Cooperative Extension, said the committee has been working for about 18 months to make the dream a reality.

“We’ve had great support from the county manager (and) county commissioners,” McKenzie said. “We’ve had great support all along.”

For Hundley, it’s important to have a farmers market close to where the produce comes from. “We live in a farming community,” she said.

NC Forest Service

Veterans Can Get Seedlings At Discount From N.C. Forest Service

The N.C. Forest Service is offering a 20 percent discount on tree seedling orders placed by active, honorably discharged or retired military personnel during the month of November. Beginning Nov. 13, the discount applies to the first $500 of all new orders, up to a $100 discount.

“Many forestland owners in this state are veterans and current military members who choose country before self to the benefit of us all,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “I am proud to offer a discount that not only shows appreciation for their brave service but that also assists them with keeping forests healthy, another act that provides us all with numerous benefits.”

To be eligible, veterans must show a valid military ID, Department of Defense Form 214/215 or National Guard Bureau Form 22/22A is acceptable. Standard shipping rates still apply. Tree seedlings may be ordered by calling 1-888-NCTREES or by visiting www.buynctrees.com.

The N.C. Forest Service Nursery and Tree Improvement program ensures that residents of North Carolina have access to the best native trees and genetics available for use on their land. Current available inventory includes southern yellow pines, native oaks and hardwoods, native understory grasses and Christmas tree species. For a complete list of available species and pricing, visit https://www.ncforestservice.gov/nursery/NurseryandTreeImprovement.htm.

Warren Co. Memorial Library

Warren Library Prepares To Crank Up Outreach Services Again

The Warren County Memorial Library is getting its outreach services back on track and has hired Benjamin Griffith to the library staff to help provide materials into the community once again. Scheduled stops should be in place by December.

“Ben is a great addition to the library staff. I look forward to working with him to grow and expand outreach services in the county. We plan to visit daycares, assisted living facilities, homebound individuals, and more.” said Library Director Christy Bondy.

Griffith grew up in Littleton, where he developed a love for books, theatre and visual art. Performing on Lakeland’s stage starting at age 12, he saw firsthand the impact that literature and the arts have on our community. This formative experience inspired him to pursue a B.A. in Drama, graduating magna cum laude from UNC-Greensboro in 2015.

His first role after graduation was working at McKay’s Used Books and More of Greensboro, where as a bookseller he helped patrons find their favorite titles. Since moving back to the eastern part of the state, he has worked for the City of Rocky Mount Parks and Recreation at the Imperial Centre for the Arts and Sciences, as well as the Lakeland Cultural Arts Center of Littleton. He is excited to share his knowledge and experience with others in his new role and looks forward to championing outreach to every corner of Warren County.

To request more information on outreach services or schedule a visit, please call 252.257.4990.




VGCC To Offer Students Access To Virtual Textbooks, Course Materials Beginning Spring 2024

-information courtesy of VGCC Public Information Officer Courtney Cissel

Vance-Granville Community College is making course materials more affordable and accessible for students. November 3 the college announced the launch of the new VGCC Textbook+ initiative, which lowers the cost of learning materials through a partnership with textbook publisher Cengage. Beginning in the spring 2024 semester, students will be able to access digital Cengage course materials through the Moodle platform starting on the first day of class.

“With textbook prices rising every year, VGCC wants to help students with the cost as much as possible,” said Dr. Kim Sepich, vice president of Learning, Student Engagement & Success at Vance-Granville. “We want our students to have what they need as quickly and as economically as possible, and VGCC Textbook+ makes this happen.”

VGCC’s Textbook+ initiative provides Cengage Unlimited Institutional subscriptions to students, which allows first-day access to a virtual library of thousands of e-books, online learning platforms and study materials covering hundreds of college-level subject areas in one place at a single price. Vance-Granville is helping its students save hundreds of dollars per semester on textbooks and course materials with the addition of the Cengage Unlimited Institutional program.

“Cengage has made a significant commitment to lowering course materials costs for students,” said Edwin Robles, senior vice president and general manager of U.S. Higher Education and Canada at Cengage. “Vance-Granville Community College shares this commitment. Working together, we will support VGCC students by making education more affordable and accessible for all.”

Since its August 2018 launch, Cengage Unlimited has helped more than 5.2 million students save nearly $630 million on the cost of course materials, with $230 million of that savings coming directly from institutional partnerships. For more information on institutional partnerships for Cengage Unlimited, visit www.cengage.com/institutions.



Oak Level UCC Hosts Community Program Saturday

Oak Level United Church of Christ in Manson is hosting a program on Saturday, Nov. 11 for the community to come out and learn about how to help young people stay safe from gangs, drugs and gun violence.

It’s called “Around the Table – Substance in the Community,” and Rayenna Wimbush said the two-hour event is free to attend and will begin at 10 a.m.

Guest speaker is Debbie Scott, who will share strategies to help those struggling with addiction, as well as identifying gangs in the community and putting a stop to gun violence.

Plan to be entertained with song, praise dance and more, Wimbush said.

Refreshments will be served.

The church is located at 5631 Jacksontown Rd., Manson.

Warren County Farmers Can Apply For Cost-Share Program To Address Water Issues On Farms

Warren County farmers who want to make improvements in their water quality and capacity can apply for some state cost-share funds through the Soil and Water Conservation District.Applications for the N.C. Department of Agriculture’s 2024 program year are being accepted now. The assistance is available to assist landowners and producers with water issues on agricultural land. This cost share assistance is available for the installation of approved best management practices.  Agricultural landowners and producers should stop by the office located at 820 US Highway 158 Business West, Suite 102 or call 252.257.4141, ext. 3 to learn more about this program.

Warren Co. Memorial Library

Warren Library Hosts Native American Storytellers, Artists During November

Warren County Memorial Library will celebrate Native American Heritage Month with a series of programs presented by Haliwa-Saponi tribe members throughout the month of November.

The Kid’s Corner section of the library is the place for special guest story times with Kay Oxendine and Barbara Brayboy. Oxendine will read Native American stories on Thursday, Nov. 2 at 11 a.m. She is the author of two novels and several children’s books on Native American issues and people and has been published in more than 100 newspapers, magazines, books and across various websites.

Brayboy will read Native American stories on Tuesday, Nov. 14 at 11 a.m. Brayboy is a retired educator of 43 years, a former member of the Warren County Board of Education, and currently serves as a member of Warren County Memorial Library’s board of trustees.

Renowned artist  Senora Lynch will be at the library to discuss Native American crafting techniques and her own arts on Monday, Nov. 20 at 1 p.m. Lynch is a Warren County-based artist whose pottery can be found in collections of the Smithsonian of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.; the North Carolina Museum of History, the Gregg Museum of Art and Design, and the McKissick Museum. She also does beadwork, leatherwork, basketry, storytelling and more. She is the 2007 recipient of the N.C. Folk Heritage Award.

Visit www.wcmlibrary.org to learn more about the library programs. Call 252.257.4990. The Warren Memorial Library is located at 119 S. Front Street, Warrenton.

State Retirees Get One-Time Bump In This Month’s Check

Retired state employees may have noticed a slight bump in their retirement checks that hit their bank accounts today. It’s not an error; rather, it’s a one-time supplement to benefit recipients who retired on or before Oct. 1, 2023, and who are members of the Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System, Consolidated Judicial Retirement System and the Legislative Retirement System.

For most retired state employees and teachers, the Oct. 25 payment includes an additional 4 percent of their annual benefit – that amounts to $40 for a $1,000 retirement check.

These funds did not come from the Plan itself, N.C. Treasurer Dale Folwell said in a press statement. The money was appropriated by the General Assembly as a part of the budget passed earlier this month. The one-time payments will not reduce the funded ratio of the State System, Folwell noted.

This one-time supplement does not apply to benefit recipients of the Local Governmental Employees’ Retirement System, where a benefit increase may be granted by the LGERS Board of Trustees within certain statutory limitations.


Online 911 Telecommunicator Program A New Option For VGCC Students


Information courtesy of VGCC Public Information Officer Courtney Cissel


Vance-Granville Community College (VGCC) has teamed up with Richmond Community College to offer a new 911 telecommunications program to residents of Vance, Granville, Franklin and Warren counties.

The two community colleges recently signed an agreement which allows VGCC students to enroll in RichmondCC’s online associate degree program in 911 Communications & Operations. VGCC students will complete a majority of the core courses and the work-based learning portion of the program through RichmondCC while completing other general education requirements at VGCC.

“VGCC is pleased to partner with Richmond Community College to offer the 911 operator degree. Collaborations like these allow us to offer needed training and credentials to our community while being fiscally responsible,” said VGCC President Dr. Rachel Desmarais.

The online degree program provides a pathway for individuals who are interested in starting a career in this field, as well as providing skills enhancement for those already working as 911 telecommunicators.

The college curriculum program was developed when the NC 911 Board reached out to RichmondCC about a need for standardization in training 911 telecommunicators, plus a need to help elevate this career field. The college worked closely with the NC 911 Board and the NC Department of Information Technology to construct the online program.

“We appreciate Vance-Granville coming on board in this collaborative career training partnership to give 911 telecommunicators, who are true public servants, better educational opportunities and career growth,” said Dr. Dale McInnis, president of RichmondCC. “We look forward to working with our neighbors in the Piedmont.”

Unique in the state of North Carolina, RichmondCC’s 911 Communications & Operations program welcomed its first class of students during the fall 2023 semester.


RichmondCC has been reaching out to other community colleges in the state to make the 911 telecommunications program and its resources available to more students. VGCC is the fourth NC community college to create such a partnership with RichmondCC; Bladen Community College, Gaston College, and Stanly Community College will also be extending the program to their students.

Richmond County is located near the South Carolina border; RichmondCC’s main campus is located in Hamlet, located roughly between Fayetteville and Charlotte.

For more information about the online 911 Communications & Operations associate degree, call RichmondCC at 910.410.1700. For more information about VGCC, visit https://www.vgcc.edu/.

Warren County Has Additional Drop-Off Locations For Discarded Meds

There are two additional locations in Warren County where residents can drop off unused or outdated prescription medications, thanks to some federal grant funds for rural communities.

One location is at the Warren County Senior Center, located at 435 W. Franklin St. in Warrenton and the second drop-ff site is at Lake Gaston DrugCo in Littleton, according to information from Crystal Smith, senior assistant to Warren County Manager Vincent Jones.

The Warren County Sheriff’s Office was awarded annually $25,000 for a three-year period from the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program, a federal program under the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services. The grant comes from Nash UNC Health Care; the primary goal is to partner with stakeholders and provide awareness of substance and opioid use disorder throughout the county through presentations and various community events, Smith said in a press statement.

The sheriff’s office is working with the Warren County Health Department and Warren County EMS to implement the program, which includes a drug take-back program twice a year and education components aimed at prevention. Further outreach plans are being developed for the school setting, to be completed in spring 2024.