Additions to VGCC Building Will Enhance Public Safety Training

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-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Vance-Granville Community College recently marked the completion of the second phase of renovation and construction work on Main Campus Building 10, providing additional instructional capacity for the Law Enforcement Training, Fire/Rescue and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) programs. That represents the culmination of a complete overhaul of the 16,000-square-foot building, a former commercial structure that the college purchased in 2010.

Pictured: Steve Barney, Head instructor for EMS programs at VGCC, in the EMS Lab. (VGCC photo)

Building 10 is located on Poplar Creek Road in Vance County, across the street from the rest of the college’s Main Campus. The first phase of its renovation was completed in 2016, providing new space to train public safety professionals and other students. Now, the newly completed area of the building allows participants to benefit from cutting-edge practical simulation training.

A new EMS lab will allow VGCC to provide training that was not previously available, using state-of-the-art equipment that gives students opportunities to participate in real-life scenarios. The lab will be used for EMT-Basic through EMT-Paramedic students, to include continuing education classes. Enhanced manikins in the lab provide immediate feedback to EMS personnel, so they can improve their skills. The equipment allows the instructor to input changes to various types of feedback from the manikins to the students, for maximum training flexibility.

In addition, the completion of Phase II includes a driving simulator that helps prepare police, fire and EMS students for safe emergency vehicle operations in a controlled environment. Finally, a firearms simulator provides 21st – century scenarios for officers to practice all forms of de-escalation techniques and all levels of the use of force. Both simulators help current officers improve their driving and firearms skills.

Pictured: Delton Farmer, VGCC Program Head -Business, in a car simulator. (VGCC photo)

“We are so very excited about the new space and equipment that allows us to better serve our fire, rescue, emergency services and law enforcement students and community agencies,” said Dr. Rachel Desmarais, VGCC’s president. “Vance-Granville is proud to be able to provide this resource as we continue to meet the region’s demand for jobs in these areas.”

VGCC Board of Trustees member Doris Terry Williams added, “We are very fortunate to have this state-of-the-art expansion to our campus and the opportunity it provides for first-class training of area law enforcement officers and first responders.”

The H.G. Reynolds Company began renovation of this 3,200-square-foot portion of the building in 2018. In addition to the renovation, parking lot space was expanded.

A grant from the Cannon Foundation and funds from the statewide Connect NC bond (approved by North Carolina voters in 2016) supported the project.

Vance-Granville Community College Band to Present Winter Concert

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-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

On Monday, December 2, 2019, the Vance-Granville Community College Band will present its Winter Concert at 7:30 p.m. in McGregor Hall in downtown Henderson, NC. The concert is free to the public and will last about an hour.

Brian Miller, the conductor of the band, commented that the band is playing classics of band literature. “All of our music is good, solid, traditional band music,” said Miller. “We will open with Sousa’s ‘Manhattan Beach March’ and will close with his ‘Century of Progress March.'”

On Monday, December 2, 2019, the Vance-Granville Community College Band will present its Winter Concert at 7:30 p.m. in McGregor Hall in downtown Henderson, NC. The concert is free to the public and will last about an hour. (VGCC photo)

“No band concert is complete without Sousa, for Sousa is the greatest band composer of all time. His music has a universal and timeless appeal,” commented Miller.

In addition to the Sousa marches, the band will perform some light classics that include a transcription of Shostakovich’s “Waltz No. 2,” and themes from Wagner’s “Tannhauser,” incidentally considered by Sousa to be the greatest operatic composition of all time.

A chief focus of the concert, of course, is seasonal holiday music. Claire Ramsey will read “The Night Before Christmas” with a special band accompaniment. Audience members will hear such traditional favorites as “Blue Christmas,” “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas,” and a medley entitled “Christmas Around The World.”

The Old Vanguard Woodwind Quartet will perform in the middle of the concert and will have some special Beatles transcriptions that the audience will recognize and appreciate.

“Band concerts are very old-fashioned and traditional,” said Miller. “What a great way to start the Christmas season! We are pleased to present this wonderful music in the middle of historic downtown Henderson. McGregor Hall is such a terrific performance venue. We are so fortunate to have such a facility in Henderson.”

Miller, in addition to conducting duties for the Vance-Granville Community College Band, teaches online Music Appreciation courses for Vance-Granville. He is the band director and assistant administrator for Crosscreek Charter School in Louisburg and plays the pipe organ at Louisburg Baptist Church.

Prior to coming to Crosscreek and Vance-Granville, Miller was the longtime director of the Louisburg High School band program.

“Please tell everybody you know about our concert,” concluded Miller. “It will be fast-paced, interesting, and should leave you humming favorite tunes. The VGCC Band strives to be ambassadors of music in our multi-county service area. It is our pleasure to present this beautiful traditional music to the public.”

For more information, contact band director Brian D. Miller at 919-496-5877 or by email: [email protected]

VGCC to Offer Truck Driver Training

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-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Vance-Granville Community College, in partnership with Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute, will soon offer a Truck Driver Training program that gives students the training required to operate tractor-trailer rigs, obtain a Class A commercial driver’s license (CDL) and become professional truck drivers.

Registration is going on now for the nine-week program, which will take place in early 2020, with a combination of classroom instruction, range driving and road driving.

Beginning in February 2020, Vance-Granville Community College, in partnership with Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute, will offer a Truck Driver Training program that gives students the training required to operate tractor-trailer rigs, obtain a Class A commercial driver’s license (CDL) and become professional truck drivers. (VGCC photo)

After a mandatory orientation on Thursday, January 23, classroom instruction will begin on Wednesday, February 12, in Building 7 (room 7105) on VGCC’s Main Campus in Vance County. Classes will meet Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., ending on April 16, with the exception of Friday, April 10.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for qualified commercial truck drivers is expected to grow by 21 percent through 2020, and trucking companies actively seek quality student drivers right out of programs like this one.

“Variety Wholesalers is pleased that VGCC has the economic insight to see the value of a truck driving school in Henderson,” said Ronald Bennett, Director of Transportation for Variety Wholesalers, Inc. “The logistics experts estimate a national shortage of over 50,000 drivers. Variety Wholesalers, as well as other area businesses, will certainly benefit from this program. It is also exciting to have another credentialing program available for the adults in Vance County. We look forward to the ‘fruits of their labor’ as time goes on.”

Upon successful completion of the program, graduates will have the opportunity to be employed by commercial trucking companies, become an owner-operator, or take advantage of local jobs. This Truck Driver Training program is certified by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI).

Students must be at least 18 years old, have a valid North Carolina driver’s license, and be able to read and speak English well enough to take instructions from highway signs, to converse with officials, and to complete the required reports.

Tuition and fees for the entire class total $1,881, well below the average cost for commercial truck driving schools. A payment plan is available, and there are opportunities for scholarships to partially defray the cost of tuition and fees.

There are additional costs for the required DOT physical and drug screen, N.C. Motor Vehicle Record, permit and license.

The Truck Driver Training program is approved for funding by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and the N.C. Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services. Unemployed and underemployed individuals may qualify for tuition vouchers to take the course.

The deadline to register is Thursday, January 30, 2020.

For more information about the Truck Driver Training program, contact Kyle Burwell at [email protected] or 252-738-3276, or Gina Brewer at [email protected] or 252-738-3324.

Join the ‘Maintain, Don’t Gain’ Holiday Weight Challenge!

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-Information courtesy Warren County NC Cooperative Extension Center

The Warren County NC Cooperative Extension Center invites everyone to participate in the 13th annual Eat Smart, Move More, Maintain, Don’t Gain! Holiday Challenge held November 18 – December 31, 2019.

The challenge is a fun way to help individuals avoid holiday weight gain. Everyone can participate – whether they are looking to lose a few pounds, maintain their current weight or pick up new strategies to eat smart and to move more. And it is FREE to participate!

Individuals who are interested in meeting up face-to-face, joining a private Facebook page, and/or listserve will be entered for a drawing to be held on January 22, 2020.

If interested, please contact Crystal M. Smith, County Extension Director/Family Consumer Science at (252) 257-3640 or [email protected] Registration (click here) is required on or by November 27, 2019.

Attorney General Announces Launch Of Project Guardian

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-Press Release, U.S. Department of Justice

Attorney General William P. Barr announced the launch of Project Guardian, a new initiative designed to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws across the country. Specifically, Project Guardian focuses on investigating, prosecuting, and preventing gun crimes.

Reducing gun violence and enforcing federal firearms laws have always been among the Department’s highest priorities. In order to develop a new and robust effort to promote and ensure public safety, the Department reviewed and adapted some of the successes of past strategies to curb gun violence.

Project Guardian draws on the Department’s earlier achievements, such as the “Triggerlock” program, and it serves as a complementary effort to the success of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN). In addition, the initiative emphasizes the importance of using all modern technologies available to law enforcement to promote gun crime intelligence.

“Gun crime remains a pervasive problem in too many communities across America. Today, the Department of Justice is redoubling its commitment to tackling this issue through the launch of Project Guardian,” said Attorney General William P. Barr. “Building on the success of past programs like Triggerlock, Project Guardian will strengthen our efforts to reduce gun violence by allowing the federal government and our state and local partners to better target offenders who use guns in crimes and those who try to buy guns illegally.”

U.S. Attorney Robert J. Higdon, Jr. stated, “For the last two years federal state and local law enforcement have been engaged in a focused, unified and effective effort to target and remove violent criminals, drug traffickers and illegal gang activity all across the Eastern District of North Carolina through our Take Back North Carolina Initiative. Today the Justice Department has launched Project Guardian which will complement and further strengthen our efforts and provide us with better targeting capability for offenders who use guns in crimes and those who seek to obtain guns illegally. In the Eastern District, we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Attorney General Barr in using every available tool, resource and technique to ensure we target the right offenders and make the people of this District safer.”

“ATF has a long history of strong partnerships in the law enforcement community,” said Acting Director Regina Lombardo. “Make no mistake, the women and men of ATF remain steadfast to our core mission of getting crime guns off of our streets. ATF and U.S. Attorneys nationwide will leverage these partnerships even further through enhanced community outreach initiatives and coordination with local, state, and tribal law enforcement and prosecutors to cut the pipeline of crime guns from those violent individuals who seek to terrorize our communities. Project Guardian will enhance ATF’s Crime Gun Intelligence, to include identifying, investigating and prosecuting those involved in the straw purchases of firearms, lying on federal firearms transaction forms, and those subject to the mental health prohibition of possessing firearms.”

Project Guardian’s implementation is based on five principles:

1) Coordinated Prosecution. Federal prosecutors and law enforcement will coordinate with state, local, and tribal law enforcement and prosecutors to consider potential federal prosecution for new cases involving a defendant who: a) was arrested in possession of a firearm; b) is believed to have used a firearm in committing a crime of violence or drug trafficking crime prosecutable in federal court; or c) is suspected of actively committing violent crime(s) in the community on behalf of a criminal organization.

2) Enforcing the Background Check System. United States Attorneys, in consultation with the Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in their district, will create new, or review existing, guidelines for intake and prosecution of federal cases involving false statements (including lie-and-try, lie-and-buy, and straw purchasers) made during the acquisition or attempted acquisition of firearms from Federal Firearms Licensees.

Particular emphasis is placed on individuals convicted of violent felonies or misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence, individuals subject to protective orders, and individuals who are fugitives where the underlying offense is a felony or misdemeanor crime of domestic violence; individuals suspected of involvement in criminal organizations or of providing firearms to criminal organizations; and individuals involved in repeat denials.

3) Improved Information Sharing. On a regular basis, and as often as practicable given current technical limitations, ATF will provide to state law enforcement fusion centers a report listing individuals for whom the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) has issued denials, including the basis for the denial, so that state and local law enforcement can take appropriate steps under their laws.

4) Coordinated Response to Mental Health Denials. Each United States Attorney will ensure that whenever there is federal case information regarding individuals who are prohibited from possessing a firearm under the mental health prohibition, such information continues to be entered timely and accurately into the United States Attorneys’ Offices’ case-management system for prompt submission to NICS. ATF should engage in additional outreach to state and local law enforcement on how to use this denial information to better assure public safety.

Additionally, United States Attorneys will consult with relevant district stakeholders to assess the feasibility of adopting the disruption of early engagement programs to address mental-health-prohibited individuals who attempt to acquire a firearm. United States Attorneys should consider, when appropriate, recommending court-ordered mental health treatment for any sentences issued to individuals prohibited based on mental health.

5) Crime Gun Intelligence Coordination. Federal, state, local, and tribal prosecutors and law enforcement will work together to ensure effective use of the ATF’s Crime Gun Intelligence Centers (CGICs), and all related resources, to maximize the use of modern intelligence tools and technology. These tools can greatly enhance the speed and effectiveness in identifying trigger-pullers and finding their guns, but the success depends in large part on state, local, and tribal law enforcement partners sharing ballistic evidence and firearm recovery data with the ATF.

Federal law enforcement represents only about 15% of all law enforcement resources nationwide. Therefore, partnerships with state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the communities they serve are critical to addressing gun crime. The Department recognizes that sharing information with our state, local, and tribal law enforcement partners at every level will enhance public safety, and provide a greater depth of resources available to address gun crime on a national level.

For more information on Project Guardian, see the Attorney General’s memorandum at

NC Farms Open for Winter Events

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-Press Release, NCDA&CS

Farms across the state are opening their gates for travelers looking for ways to celebrate the season with unique and fun farm experiences. From choose-and-cut Christmas trees and light shows to pop-up markets and visits with Santa, there are plenty of holiday options to choose from.

Following is a selection of activities being offered at N.C. agritourism destinations through the end of the winter season. Visitors are encouraged to verify event dates and hours of operations before they go. Additional farm events are available on the Visit NC Farms app.

Eastern North Carolina

  • Galloway Farm in Hallsboro will be hosting Christmas Fun Day on the Farm Nov. 30 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event includes breakfast with Santa and Mrs. Claus, a scavenger hunt and the Tree Farmers 12 Days of Christmas Sing-Along Trail.
  • Grapefull Sisters Vineyard in Tabor City will hold its third-annual Mingle Jingle on Dec. 7 from 4 to 8 p.m. Visitors are encouraged to wear comfortable shoes and bring a chair and flashlight to this outside concert event.
  • Hubb’s Farm in Clinton will screen The Polar Express on Nov. 30. The event starts at 5:15 p.m., and the movie begins at 7. The event features a train ride and photos with Santa. All tickets are sold in advance.
  • Lu Mil Vineyard in Elizabethtown will have a Drive-Thru Festival of Lights starting Thanksgiving Weekend. Visitors also can enjoy free photos with Santa, wine tastings, hot chocolate and a trip to the gift shop. Hours and pricing are available on the vineyard’s website.
  • Nooherooka Natural in Snow Hill will hold its Winterfest 2019 event Dec. 7 and 8, featuring local artists, craftsmen, potters, food trucks, self-guided tours of the historic Benjamin W. Best Inn, and the annual Nooherooka Natural Holiday Meat Sale.
  • Red Barn Christmas in Roseboro will hold its Christmas light show and hayride Fridays and Saturdays from 6 to 9 p.m. from Nov. 29 to Dec. 22. Come see farm scenes, visit the animals and stop in the store for s’mores and hot dogs.
  • Twiddle Dee Farm in Clinton will hold an adults-only Open Farm Day Dec. 7 from 3 to 6 p.m. Guests will have the chance to learn how the farm prepares for winter and deals with emergencies. The day includes s’mores, hot chocolate and coffee. Online advance registration is required.

Central North Carolina

  • Allied Organic Farms in Hurdle Mills is hosting a free County Christmas with Santa event Nov. 30 at 4 p.m. The light show begins at dusk. There will be gift items for sale from local vendors and a sleigh ride along a trail.
  • Almond Christmas Tree Farm in Albemarle will be opening for the season Nov. 29. The farm will be open Thursday through Sunday during the season with fresh Christmas trees, wreaths, a gift shop, playground, hayrides and farm animals.
  • Alpaca Dreams in Louisburg is offering on-farm experiences as gifts this holiday season. Learn more about alpacas and get to know each animal’s unique personality.
  • Boyce Farm in Raleigh will offer fresh, N.C. Fraser firs for the season starting Nov. 22. The farm is open Nov. 22 and 23 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Starting Nov. 29, the farm will operate Monday-Friday from noon to 7 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Boyette Family Farms in Clayton presents Lights on the Neuse, Nov. 29 through Dec. 24. The holiday celebration features an old-fashioned hayride and Christmas light displays. See the website for hours.
  • Brantley Farms in Mocksville will sell its pasture-raised beef, free-range eggs, local sausage and produce on Saturdays in November from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Brookhaven Mill Farm in Greensboro will set up its Christmas tree lot in front of Charlie’s Farm Store starting Thanksgiving Week. The store will be open throughout the season with trees, hot chocolate, cookies and visits with Santa.
  • Buffalo Creek Farm and Creamery in Germanton will host businesses at their market for Small Business Saturday on Nov. 30 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Carlee Farm in Oxford will be sponsoring the Stem Fire & EMS on Nov. 23 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Enjoy the farmers marketplace, hayrides, chicken plates and live music.
  • Denton Farm Park in Denton will open for the holiday season starting Nov. 29. Visitors can ride the train, see holiday light displays, watch the Nativity movie and visit with Santa.
  • Fine Family Farm’s Peaceful Acres Farmhouse in Denton is available for reservations this holiday season. Guests can interact with animals and gather fresh eggs for breakfast. There also are many hiking and kayaking destinations near the farm.
  • Forget-Me-Knot Farm in Hillsborough is hosting two hands-on soap making classes. A Valentines Soap Class will be held Jan. 18. and a Goat Milk Shampoo Bar Class will be held Feb. 22. To register for the class, please email [email protected].
  • Hickory Creek Farm  in Greensboro will start offering Christmas trees on Nov. 23 at 10 a.m. The farm will open daily into December or until trees are sold out. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be at the farm on Saturdays through Dec. 7.
  • Laurel Grey Vineyard in Hamptonville will hold its Reserve Library Tasting Event on Nov. 16 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Join owners and winemakers for tastings and pairings of fine wines from the vineyard’s exclusive collection.
  • M & M Alpaca Farm of NC in Pittsboro is having a Black Friday Fun Sale on Nov. 29. The farm also will be open throughout the season selling locally made alpaca scarves, blankets, and more. Tours to meet the alpacas can be made in advance.
  • McLaurin Farms in Greensboro will offer Christmas activities including Christmas lights, hayrides and visits with Santa starting Nov. 28 through Dec. 29. Visit the farm website for hours.
  • Middle Ground Farm in Monroe will host an evening with Santa and Mrs. Claus on Dec. 21 from 6 to 9 p.m. There also will be local vendors for last-minute gifts and holiday refreshments.
  • Midland Farms in Midland presents “A Christmas to Remember” Dec. 7 and 14 from 4 to 8 p.m. Bring your family to enjoy a beautiful Christmas light display, crafts, games, face painting, pony rides and the farm store open for gifts.
  • Millstone Creek Orchards in Ramseur will host Christmas with the Kringles and a Millstone Creek Christmas Hayride starting Nov. 29. Families can celebrate the season on a Christmas hayride featuring inflatables, thousands of lights and a musical light show then continue the fun with cookie decorating and visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Reservations are required for the events.
  • Mitchell’s Nursery and Greenhouse in King will hold its annual Poinsettia Open House on Dec. 1 from noon to 4 p.m. with 93 poinsettia varieties in full color. Visitors can cast their votes in the poinsettia trials to help determine future varieties.
  • Pace Family Farms in Clayton will host a vendor craft fair with food trucks on Dec. 7 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Plum Granny Farm  in King will host a variety of other businesses at their market for Small Business Saturday on Nov. 30 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  •  Smith’s Family Fun Farm in Hillsborough will have choose-and-cut Christmas trees starting Nov. 29. In addition, the farm will offer hot chocolate, fresh wreaths and more in the farm store.
  • Stowe Dairy Christmas Tree Farm in Gastonia opens for the season on Nov. 23 with Christmas trees grown on the farm and from Western North Carolina. Santa will visit the farm Nov. 30 and Dec. 7 from 1 to 5 p.m.
  • The Barn at Lloyd’s Dairy in Efland will host the Tarheel Antiques Festival and Christmas Craft Show Nov. 16 and 17 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The event features vendors, music, auctions and hayrides.
  • The Hunter Farm in Weddington will open for the season on Thanksgiving with wagon rides to the petting barn, visits with Santa, hot chocolate, birdhouse painting, and choose-your-own Fraser Fir Christmas trees.
  • Triple Diamond Farm in Mooresville will host photos with Santa Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Children can get unlimited photos and will receive a gift. Parents can enjoy a complimentary glass of champagne. There also will be games, cookies and hot chocolate.
  • WoodMill Winery in Vale will hold its annual Christmas Show Dec. 7 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with over 20 vendors selling art, handmade crafts, pottery, jewelry and more. Free wine tastings and tours will occur during the day.

Western North Carolina

  • Apple Hill Farm in Banner Elk will offer tours of the farm every 30 minutes between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from Nov. 15 through Dec. 8.
  • Foothill Farmers’ Market Winter Market in Shelby will have several special dates including a Thanksgiving Farmers Market on Nov. 27; a Holiday Market and Craft Fair on Dec. 14; and two winter markets at Newgrass Brewing Company on Jan. 11 and Feb. 15.
  • Justus Orchard in Hendersonville offers apple picking, baked goods and children’s activities on weekends in November. The farm also will have fresh Christmas trees starting Thanksgiving Day through mid-December.
  • Sandy Hollar Farms in Leicester will offer choose-and-cut Christmas trees, fresh wreaths and garlands, wagon rides, a Christmas shop and snack shack daily Nov. 23 through Dec. 21.
  • Sandy Mush Herb Nursery in Leicester is open Thursday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It has a huge collection of culinary, fragrant and decorative plants well suited for indoor gardens. Visitors also can enjoy the beautiful winter landscape on self-guided walks.
  • Trosly Farm Store in Elk Park is open Saturdays through Dec. 14 for fresh breads, vegetables, chocolates and more.
  • Walnut Hollow Ranch in Hayesville is a working cattle ranch welcoming guests and tourists through educational farm tours, farm stays and more. The farm is open to the public on Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

VGCC Awards Scholarships to 349 Students

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-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College 

Vance-Granville Community College honored 349 students receiving scholarships, as well as the donors and partnering organizations who established those scholarships, at a dinner on October 10, in the Civic Center on the college’s Main Campus.

Tanya Evans, district manager for Duke Energy, spoke at the VGCC Scholarship Awards Dinner on behalf of the businesses, groups and individuals who support scholarships for students at the college. (VGCC photo)

In the fourth annual event of its kind, students were given the opportunity to meet and have dinner with community leaders and supporters of the college’s Endowment Fund. “We celebrate and give thanks for the outstanding academic accomplishments of our students and the incredible generosity of our donors,” said VGCC Endowment Director Eddie Ferguson.

Spencer Boyd of Oxford spoke on behalf of the VGCC students receiving scholarships for the 2019-20 academic year, during the college’s Scholarship Awards Dinner. Boyd received the Duke Energy Presidential Scholar Award. (VGCC photo)

Sponsors for the scholarship awards dinner were Kilian Engineering, CertainTeed and Duke Energy.

Tanya Evans, district manager for Duke Energy, offered remarks on behalf of the many businesses, groups and individuals who have donated to support scholarships. Evans also serves on the VGCC Endowment Fund board of directors.

Speaking on behalf of the scholars being recognized were Ashley Ayscue of Henderson and Spencer Boyd of Oxford.

Scholarships of various levels, including the Presidential Excellence Award (the highest level, being awarded for the first time), Presidential Scholar Awards, Presidential Merit Awards, Academic Achievement scholarships and annual (non-endowed) scholarships were awarded to students this academic year, representing a total of more than $255,000.

VGCC student Ashley Ayscue of Henderson spoke on behalf of her classmates who received scholarships for the 2019-20 academic year, during the college’s Scholarship Awards Dinner. Ayscue received the Vance County Association of Educational Office Professionals scholarship. (VGCC photo)

The scholarships presented to students this year bring the total to more than 9,700 awarded by the college to date. VGCC scholarships have been endowed by numerous individuals, industries, businesses, civic groups, churches and the college’s faculty and staff. For more information about the Endowment Fund, call (252) 738-3409.


Donald and Betsy Seifert: Cesar Ponciano of Oxford (Information Technology).



Frank and Ruth Askins Nursing: Maria Perry of Zebulon (Radiography) and Steven Pierce of Henderson (Associate Degree Nursing);

William David Barker, Sr., and Anabel Manderson Barker: Hannah Foster of Henderson (Associate in Arts);

Brenda W. Beck: Shyanne Robertson of Henderson (Associate in Arts);

Lelia C. Brigham Memorial: Melanie Slaton of Henderson (Medical Office Administration);

Gilbert and Frances Capps: Tyler Potter of Youngsville (Associate in Fine Arts in Visual Arts);

John T. Church, Sr.: Jolina Anne Chiong of Henderson (Associate Degree Nursing);

John T. Church, Sr., Memorial: Alexis Brown-Fincher of Henderson (Associate in General Education – General Science);

Conduent: Marilyn Swensen of Stem (Pharmacy Technology);

Rudolph and Ruby Keller Corbitt: Vanessa Crabtree of Kittrell (Business Administration);

Duke Energy: Spencer Boyd of Oxford (Associate in Arts);

Jerome and Dora Faulkner Memorial: Solange Tant of Stem (Associate Degree Nursing) and

Erin Whitt of Oxford (Associate in Arts);

Julius M. and Breda O. Frazier Memorial: Alec Moran of Henderson (Automotive Systems Technology);

Glen Raven: Aislinn Julian of Louisburg (Associate in Arts) and Joseph Nehme of Boydton, Va. (Mechatronics Engineering Technology);

Patricia P. Graham: Calli Massey of Oxford (Associate in Arts);

GSK: Erica Evitts of Oxford (Associate in Arts), Rebecca Lynam of Youngsville (Medical Office Administration), Nicholas Parker of Oxford (Information Technology) and Linda Pegram of Henderson (Accounting and Finance);

Ann Rose Allen/Guild Gift Gallery at Maria Parham: Cortney Ragan of Louisburg (Associate Degree Nursing);

Gean Bobbitt/Guild Gift Gallery at Maria Parham: Elizabeth Wiggins of Louisburg (Medical Office Administration);

Leslie Carswell/Guild Gift Gallery at Maria Parham: Stephanie Parham of Franklinton (Associate Degree Nursing);

Vernell Champion/Guild Gift Gallery at Maria Parham: Sabrina Bedard of Wake Forest (Radiography); 

  1. Franklin Mills/Guild Gift Gallery at Maria Parham: Victoria Swain of Rougemont (Radiography);
  2. Beverly Tucker, MD/Guild Gift Gallery at Maria Parham: Brittany Buchanan of Bullock (Associate Degree Nursing);

Guild Gift Gallery at Maria Parham: Patrisha Ferrick of Youngsville (Associate Degree Nursing), Holly Heston of Louisburg (Medical Office Administration), Maryjo Parks of Henderson (Medical Office Administration), Carly West of Littleton (Radiography) and Andrew Zambrano of Raleigh (Associate Degree Nursing);

Guild Gift Gallery Volunteers: Michelle Matthews of Henderson (Radiography);

Past and Present Volunteers/Guild Gift Gallery at Maria Parham: Matthew Denton of Henderson (Radiography);

Robbie Gilliam Hedrick/Robert Jerome Hedrick: Cedrick Strong of Henderson (Associate in Science);

Vera M. and H. Dermont Hedrick: Matthew Varker of Kittrell (Associate in Arts);

Guy Thomas and Lelle Courtney Horner/Guy T. Horner: Aziyah Eubanks of Oxford (Associate in General Education – General Science);

George Wilson and Pattie Alston Macon/Katharine M. Horner: Samantha Rodgers of Henderson (Business Administration);

The Johnson Educational Fund: Brenda Rodriguez Morales of Durham (Accounting and Finance);

  1. Daniel Knight, Jr.: Kimberly Ross of Franklinton (Associate in Arts);

Felix McDaniel Family: Susan Carr of Rougemont (Associate Degree Nursing);

Eben G. & Mary Frances McSwain: Victoria Hackett of Oxford (Cosmetology);

M.R. Williams, Inc.: Miranda Brown of Oxford (Associate in Arts);

John K. Nelms: Nicole Martin of Creedmoor (Paralegal Technology);

Mary Ruth Nelms: Daniel Burnette of Oxford (Associate in Arts);

Marsha J. Nelson: Kathy Wiggins of Henderson (Accounting and Finance);

Oxford Lodge #103, I.O.O.F.: Rewees Ebrahim of Oxford (Associate in Science);

Myrtle Jane Pruitt: Anna Weaver of Henderson (Associate in Arts);

Rehoboth United Methodist Church: Ariel Williams of Henderson (Paralegal Technology);

Revlon: Cassidy Burton of Franklinton (Radiography) and Koty Glover of Henderson (Information Technology);

Harold and Helen Sherman: Brian Burch of Franklinton (Associate in Arts) and Charles Maina of Cary (Radiography);

Triangle North Healthcare Foundation RIBN: Rachel Spall of Kittrell (Associate in General Education – General Science);

Leon Turner: Katelynn Cheek of Oxford (Accounting and Finance);

Vance-Granville Community College Faculty and Staff: Jazmer Cole of Norlina (Associate in Arts), Amber Peoples of Henderson (Radiography) and Tiffiney Whitt of Roxboro (Human Services Technology/Substance Abuse);

Edward Tarry Watkins Memorial: Lanasia Williams of Warrenton (Associate in Arts);

John Weaver: Cornisha Mitchell of Henderson (Early Childhood Education).



Air Control, Inc.: Andrew Dickerson of Oxford (Associate in Arts);

Linda Aleshire Memorial: Zion Page of Raleigh (Associate in Science);

Julius and Harriet Banzet: Jaleka Alston of Warrenton (Associate in General Education – General Science);

Lucy Royster Brenner Memorial: Elizabeth Wonsetler of Henderson (Information Technology);

Bridgestone Commercial Solutions: Ashley Bennett of Louisburg (Cosmetology);

Priscilla Brooks Memorial: Caliegh Katz of Creedmoor (Associate in General Education – General Science);

CareFocus Nursing: Geneva Duncan of Henderson (Radiography);

Church of the Holy Innocents: Christian Jamgochian of Louisburg (Associate in Arts) and Guadalupe Mata of Henderson (Paralegal Technology);

Emma Rose Church: Jessica Price of Franklinton (Practical Nursing);

John T. Church, Sr.: Ethan Hughes of Creedmoor (Technical Special Student);

Marion Lee Johnson Church: Lizeth B. Nieto-Mata of Henderson (Practical Nursing);

Coca-Cola Bottlers’ Foundation: Emily Isidro of Henderson (Associate in Arts);

Marshall Young Cooper, Sr., and Mishew C. Cooper Nursing: Tammie Davis of Oxford (Associate Degree Nursing);

Thurman and Fannie Crumpler Scouting: Wyatt Mote of Wake Forest (Criminal Justice Technology);

Dr. Ben F. Currin: Mackenzie Proctor of Henderson (Associate in General Education – General Science);

The Farrington Foundation: Jesslyn Bader of Youngsville (Radiography) and Dakota Chabala of Franklinton (Radiography);

Jerome and Dora Faulkner: Alyssa Franklin of Henderson (Associate Degree Nursing);

Ferguson Family Foundation: Abigail Dickerson of Oxford (Associate in Science);

Dwight & Jane Frazier Family: Bethany Hoy of Oxford (Associate in General Education – General Science);

Friends of Hospice: Timarra Durham of Henderson (Medical Assisting), Rebekah Edwards of Henderson (Associate Degree Nursing) and Megan Stainback of Henderson (Associate in General Education – General Science);

Granville County Cattlemen’s Association: Tanya Smith of Butner (Criminal Justice Technology);

Granville Industrial & Business Club: Haley Franklin of Creedmoor (Associate in Science) and Shiloh Whiten of Oxford (Information Technology);

Betty S. Hicks/Granville Industrial & Business Club: LaSherra Alston of Oxford (Associate in General Education – General Science);

Margaret L. Gupton and Linwood M. Gupton Memorial: Robyn Perry of Zebulon (Radiography);

Talmadge Hamm Memorial: Rachel Allen of Stem (Human Services Technology) and Gricel Arroyo of Louisburg (Criminal Justice Technology);

Joseph and Carrie Hamme: Stephanie Hanford of Oxford (Business Administration);

Hugh White Holt Memorial: Rachel Hampton of Youngsville (Business Administration), Phoebe Rutter of Youngsville (Associate in Science) and June Terry of Louisburg (Paralegal Technology);

Hubbard Family/Americal: David Ayscue, Jr. of Henderson (Information Technology);

Grace Hamme Jester: Sala Algathi of Oxford (Associate in Science);

Christopher Johnson Memorial: Benjamin Mangalam of Butner (Business Administration);

Bignall Speed Jones Memorial: Andrew Johns of Manson (Radiography);

Kittrell Family: William Strickland of Henderson (Associate in Arts);

Lace Lastics Company, Inc.: Jennifer Crabtree of Kittrell (Business Administration);

Leggett Family/Robert A. Leggett Memorial: Glenn Burgess of Creedmoor (Radiography);

Harriette G. Mast Memorial: Meredith Tart of Henderson (Associate in General Education – General Science);

Margaret West Cousins Matteson: Lisa Hamlette of Oxford (Cosmetology);

Robert A. Miller: Dasha Kearney of Henderson (Cosmetology);

Nelms Family: Elizabeth Brogden of Creedmoor (Radiography) and Nolan Hughes of Oxford (Technical Special Student);

Oxford Woman’s Club: Christian Hargrove of Oxford (Human Services Technology/Substance Abuse);

Helen & Norris Post: Franchesca Hargrove of Butner (Medical Office Administration);

Professional Construction Estimators Association – Triangle Chapter: Emili Hernandez of Butner (Human Services Technology);

Rain Park: Shanika Upchurch of Louisburg (Associate Degree Nursing);

Ella Glover Rowell: Travis Banka of Durham (Radiography);

John Stovall Royster, Jr., Memorial: Georgina Vanegas Reyes of Henderson (Associate Degree Nursing);

Sirchie Finger Print Laboratories: Brianna Dixon of Youngsville (Criminal Justice Technology);

Holly Elizabeth Turner Memorial: Hannah Hester of Bullock (Associate in General Education – General Science);

Union Bank/Stanley H. Fox: Coleen Green of Creedmoor (Radiography);

Vance-Granville Community College Faculty and Staff: Theresa Carrillo of Henderson (Radiography), Mackenzie Cates of Efland (Radiography), Andres Espino of Creedmoor (Accounting and Finance), Travis Harding of Franklinton (Associate in Arts), Skylar Mulhollen of Henderson (Cosmetology), Paul Rogerson of Littleton (Associate in Arts), Chiatyra Turner of Norlina (Associate in General Education – General Science) and Grayson Williams of Rougemont (Associate in Arts);

Robert J. Walker Memorial: Chris Trotman of Oxford (Associate Degree Nursing);

William T. “Billy” Watkins Memorial: Courtney Cox of Oxford (Associate in Arts);

Hutson Wester Insurance: Amber Wilkins of Stem (Accounting);

Dr. and Mrs. M. W. Wester, Jr.: Kirstie Thomas of Raleigh (Associate Degree Nursing);

Robert T. “Buster” and Elizabeth Brent Williford Memorial: Joshua Jones of Butner (Information Technology);

Keith and Stelfanie Williams Family: Doanita Williams of Youngsville (Practical Nursing);

Sam Watkins, Jr.: Sullivan Smith of Henderson (Associate in Arts).



Lucy West Abbott Memorial: Facinet Sylla of Durham (Supply Chain Management);

Sam Alford Memorial/Henderson Lions Club: Wesley Beach of Kittrell (Criminal Justice Technology);

AMVETS – Vance County Chapter #730: Carlota Sikes of Henderson (Practical Nursing);

Hayden C. Bailey Family Memorial: Randi Bowen of Franklinton (Associate in Arts);

Charles and Audrey Ballentine: Heidy Morosumi of Henderson (Radiography);

Bank of America: Justin Ranes of Henderson (Welding Technology);

Henry and Mamie Banks: Emari Ragland of Henderson (Paralegal Technology);

The Barnabus Fund: Ciara Cates of Oxford (Cosmetology);

James R. Barnes/Vance County Unit, N.C. Retired School Personnel: Ellen Young of Louisburg (Early Childhood Education);

Marvin H. Baugh/Warrenton Rotary Club: Heather Gwin of Warrenton (Associate in Science);

BB&T: Elizabeth Morgan of Warrenton (Associate in General Education – General Science);

  1. B. Beasley Memorial: Daquan Southerland of Henderson (Associate in Arts);

George B. Blum Memorial/Middleburg Ruritan Club: Alondra Torres-Ornelas of Henderson (Associate in Arts);

Dr. Joseph Alston Boyd, Jr.: Amber Newton of Louisburg (Radiography);

Amanda A. “Mandy” Braswell Memorial: Christopher Quick of Hamlet (Associate in Arts);

Pauline Neisler Brewer: Garikayi Nyakudya of Raleigh (Practical Nursing);

John Brigham Memorial: Wynett Pearce of Spring Hope (Medical Office Administration);

Charles Brooks: Astrid Portillo-Granado of Creedmoor (Associate in General Education – General Science);

Lunsford B. Brown II: Tyshii Scarborough of Rose Hill (Associate in Arts);

Annie R. Bullock Memorial/City of Henderson: Dorothy Wortham of Henderson (Human Services Technology);

George E. & Estelle H. Bullock Memorial: Tiffiney Pollay of Franklinton (Associate in Arts);

Bernard O. Burgess Memorial: Laura Andersen of Efland (Radiography);

Nathan Burwell: Timothy Jones of Henderson (Human Services Technology/Substance Abuse);

Capital Bank: Emily Adcock of Oxford (Medical Assisting);

Carolina Sunrock: Miles Boan of Wake Forest (Supply Chain Management);

Minnie Moseley Cawley Memorial: Kelsie Park of Raleigh (Associate Degree Nursing);

CertainTeed Corporation: Aide Nonato of Henderson (Business Administration);

Cecil L. Chacon, Jr., Memorial: Hailey Reavis of Henderson (Associate in Arts);

Chick-fil-A of Henderson: Daniel Thorpe of Henderson (Associate in Fine Arts in Visual Arts);

Church of The Holy Innocents: Wincheile Montemayor of Raleigh (Associate Degree Nursing);

John T. Church: Shanquia Coward of Franklinton (Cosmetology) and Luc Henry of Wake Forest (Associate in Arts);

John T. Church, Sr./Roses Stores: Taneisha Jordan of Oxford (Associate Degree Nursing);

Martha M. Clark: Eunice Ayaa of Creedmoor (Associate Degree Nursing);

Brandon S. Coker Memorial: Jordan Howard of Louisburg (Basic Law Enforcement Training);

Lucille Couch: Rahabu Fraser of Raleigh (Practical Nursing);

Lenwood A. Crabtree/Duke Energy: Jacob Thompson of Macon (Welding Technology);

Dorothy M. Currin Memorial: Benjamin Marshall of Butner (Associate Degree Nursing);

Rotary Club of Oxford/In Honor of Thomas B. Currin: Erica Thorpe of Oxford (Associate Degree Nursing);

Sophia H. Currin Memorial: Briana Williams of Creedmoor (Associate in Science);

  1. J. ‘Pooky’ Currin Memorial: Eugene Christian of Oxford (Associate in Arts);

Davis-Royster Funeral Services: Janeisha Hargrove of Henderson (Business Administration);

Mr. and Mrs. William A. Delbridge: Ricky O’Neal of Norlina (Criminal Justice Technology);

Durham Coca-Cola Bottling Company/Classic Food Services: Rebekah Speed of Henderson (Associate Degree Nursing);

Eastern Carolina Rabbit Breeders Association: Abigail Rodriguez of Durham (Associate Degree Nursing);

Jerry Ellington Memorial: Luby Coley of Louisburg (Human Services Technology/Substance Abuse);

Anne Cooke Finch: Cathy Russell of Franklinton (Accounting and Finance);

Joy Nicole Fleming Memorial: Antonea Nowell of Henderson (Associate Degree Nursing);

Stanley H. Fox: Amanda Scott of Creedmoor (Associate in Arts);

Franklin Regional Volunteers Auxiliary: Joshua Miller of Zebulon (Associate in General Education – General Science);

Friends of Hospice: Raine Tucker-Smith of Rolesville (Associate Degree Nursing);

Matthew Frink: Blake Lee of Louisburg (Associate in Arts);

Gate Precast Company: Alexander Quintana of Youngsville (Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Technology);

Hubert L. Gooch, Sr.: O’shane Davis of Durham (Radiography);

Hubert Lee Gooch, Jr., Memorial: Charles Ngeve of Youngsville (Associate Degree Nursing);

John K. Nelms/Granville Industrial Club: Paul Scott of Warrenton (Associate in Arts);

John Pearson Harris, Jr., and Sr., Memorial: Jazmin King of Rougemont (Cosmetology);

Mattie B. Harris: Susan Rice of Kittrell (Paralegal Technology);

Ethel Jane Rideout Harrison Memorial: Malorie Stasiewicz of Youngsville (Associate in Science);

Robert Burnham Harrison, Sr., Memorial: Emily Watkins of Roxboro (Associate in Arts);

Robert B. Harrison/Henderson Kiwanis Club: Clevious Herring, Jr. of Henderson (Associate in Arts) and Elizabeth Kenney of Raleigh (Associate Degree Nursing);

Robert J. Turner/Henderson Kiwanis Club: Cynthia King of Warrenton (Associate in General Education – General Science);

Thelma ‘Bug’ Dempsey/Henderson Business & Professional Women’s Club: Jennifer Banning of Wake Forest (Radiography);

Carrie Draper/Henderson Business & Professional Women’s Club: Nigoria Alston of Henderson (Histotechnology);

Fitzhugh A. Kesler/Henderson Business & Professional Women’s Club: Keishla M. Garcia of Creedmoor (Medical Office Administration);

Emily G. Whitten/Henderson Business & Professional Women’s Club: Christian Collier of Henderson (Accounting and Finance) and Ashley Sawyer of Franklinton (Technical Special Student);

  1. Anne Wortham/Henderson Business & Professional Women’s Club: Alvin Foster of Kittrell (Associate in Science);

Henderson Rotary Club: Michelle Harris-Evans of Youngsville (Associate Degree Nursing);

Henderson Woman’s Club: Karen Sandoval of Henderson (Associate in Science);

Irene Hamm Hester Memorial/Carolina Cooling & Heating, Inc.: Johnathan Glover of Oxford (Welding Technology);

George W. Holden, Jr., Accounting: Carthia Kornegay of Louisburg (Early Childhood Education);

Mike Huffaker Memorial: Chelsea Troutman of Henderson (Associate Degree Nursing);

Elie Gut/Ideal Fastener Corporation: Jennifer Arteaga of Henderson (Associate in Arts);

George W. Jenkins Memorial Boy Scouts: Henrry Reboccar-Miguel of Franklinton (Associate in General Education – General Science);

Linda Vele Johnson Memorial: Joselyn Aguilar of Franklinton (Associate in General Education – General Science);

Seby B. Jones and Rufus T. Aiken: Connor Freeman of Creedmoor (Associate in Arts);

James Madison “Jimmy” Joyner Memorial: Norma Martinez-Martinez of Oxford (Associate in Science);

Mr. and Mrs. C.B. Keller and William Lee Keller Memorial: Felicia Jones of Norlina (Pharmacy Technology);

Leo Kelly, Jr.: Tasani Lemay of Kittrell (Paralegal Technology);

Kerr Lake Area Home Builders Association: Devin Burrill of Youngsville (Welding Technology), Jasmine Crews of Kittrell (Carpentry) and Jaslin Renteria of Henderson (Associate Degree Nursing);

Kerr Lake Board of Realtors: Jesse Sawyer of Henderson (Associate in Arts);

Milton F. and Mary Legg Memorial: Tatiana Neal of Henderson (Medical Assisting);

Frank H. Madigan: Quincy Anderson of Oxford (Associate in General Education – General Science);

Vesta Fortson Manning Memorial: Brittany Barnett of Henderson (Medical Office Administration);

Maria Parham Medical Center Volunteer Services: Sierra Holland of Raleigh (Radiography);

Mary Potter High School: Kofi Boateng of Durham (Associate in Arts);

William J. “Bill” Matthews Memorial: Boyd Scott of Warrenton (Electrical Systems Technology);

Fred E. & Ernestine H. Miller Memorial: Katelynn Twisdale of Louisburg (Information Technology);

Smith Doss and Claude Monnier: Marisol Isidro of Henderson (Medical Assisting), Edwim Vargas-Hernandez of Franklinton (Radiography) and Cavine Otieno of Durham (Practical Nursing);

Robert J. and Isabel B. Morgan Memorial: Jonathon Brayton of Kittrell (Carpentry);

Lou Ann Murphy: Katelyn Medley of Youngsville (Associate in General Education – General Science);

Diane W. Nethercutt Nursing Memorial: Emely Aguaviva Reyes of Raleigh (Associate Degree Nursing);

Newton Instrument Company: George Tharpe of Louisburg (Welding Technology);

John K. Nelms/Newton Instrument Company: Matthew Henderson of Oxford (Associate in Arts);

Walter L. Newton: Savannah Morgan of Franklinton (Associate in Arts);

Dr. and Mrs. Roy L. Noblin Memorial: Caralyn Blalock of Durham (Associate Degree Nursing);

Novozymes North America, Inc.: Hudson Smith of Youngsville (Associate in Science);

Oxford Junior Woman’s Club: Shontiara Williams of Oxford (Information Technology);

Oxford Lions Club: Christopher Pennell of Oxford (Information Technology);

Thurston S. “Judge” and Vivian L. Parham: Joshua Martus of Wake Forest (Criminal Justice Technology);

Mr. and Mrs. B. A. Parker: Jacob Powell of Wise (Criminal Justice Technology);

William D. Payne: Annah Ongeri of Durham (Associate Degree Nursing);

  1. D. Payne/Vance County Unit, N.C. Retired School Personnel: Abbi Collier of Henderson (Associate in Arts);

William D. Payne/Henderson High School Class of 1938: Summer O’Brien of Roxboro (Histotechnology);

W.D. Payne/Henderson High School Class of 1939: Michael Leslie of Durham (Radiography);

Scott Parker Peace Memorial and Adna B. Pierce Memorial: Regina Pena of Creedmoor (Histotechnology);

Henry S. Peoples, Chapter #67 Disabled American Veterans: Tiffany Eddie of Warrenton (Associate Degree Nursing), Brian Kottuppallil of Oxford (Associate Degree Nursing) and Diana Powell of Henderson (Associate Degree Nursing);

Elsie Gray and Julian Pernell: Tanner Dixon of Youngsville (Criminal Justice Technology);

PNC: Mikayla Jones of Youngsville (Associate in General Education – General Science);

Myrtle Jane Pruitt Memorial: Montrella Alston of Garner (Associate Degree Nursing), Cristal Herrera of Louisburg (Radiography), Ashley Corley of Durham (Histotechnology), Lorie Shepherd of Wake Forest (Radiography), DeLoonna Martin of Henderson (Radiography) and Veronica Arenas Carlos of Oxford (Medical Assisting);

PSNC Energy: Jada Peace of Henderson (Information Technology);

Rain Park: Azure Mann of Hollister (Early Childhood Education);

Samir Harith “Reef” Abdul Rasheed Memorial: DeVon Gardner of Springdale, Maryland (Associate in Arts);

Buggana Subba Reddy Memorial: Kara Ray of Henderson (Associate in Arts);

Putlur S. Devi Reddy Memorial: Jessica Martin of Henderson (Practical Nursing);

Putlur Jayarama Reddy Memorial: Joseph Pottern of Wake Forest (Associate in Science);

Steven Allen and Thomas “Tommee” Wayne Reese Memorial: Leah Coleman of Henderson (Associate in General Education – General Science);

Rowan-Walters Nursing: Ashley Speed of Kittrell (Associate Degree Nursing);

Robin Rowland Memorial: Aaliyah Southerland of Henderson (Cosmetology);

Royster, Cross & Hensley, LLP: Spencer Huff of Oxford (Associate in Science);

Walter J. Rublein Memorial: Timon Bailey of Louisburg (Information Technology);

Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company: Brennon Warren of Creedmoor (Associate in Arts);

Wilson Sawyer/Variety Wholesalers Inc.: Milani Nolton of Warrenton (Associate in Arts);

Clemens Oscar Seifert/Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Henderson: Austin Ramsey of Henderson (Associate in Science);

Herve and Jackie Sergent: Chariyana Clack, Aniyah Edmonds, Jeremiah McCray and Jaquavian Stainback, all of Oxford (all middle school students attending VGCC Science Camp);

Mary Helen Harris Shields Memorial: Bailey Williams of Franklinton (Associate in Science);

Hettie Currin Skipper Memorial Nursing: Kristen Clifford of Oxford (Associate Degree Nursing);

South Granville Rotary Club: Brett Clayton of Oxford (Associate in Science);

Rachel and Raymond Stone: Alexis Lincoln of Franklinton (Criminal Justice Technology);

SunTrust Bank: McKenzie Conlee of Norlina (Associate in Arts);

T & T Laundries: Tyvonda Shepherd of Henderson (Medical Assisting);

Dr. Rives Williams and Patty Lewis Taylor Memorial: Yamilith Portillo of Creedmoor (Medical Office Administration);

Thomas G. & Mildred K. Taylor Memorial: Colby Baird of Oxford (Associate in Arts);

Oxford-Henderson Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.: Passione Cooper of Warrenton (Associate in General Education – General Science);

Ben and Cornelia Terry: Hannah Tuck of Oxford (Associate Degree Nursing);

Rachel P. Thomas: Rebecca Whiton of Wake Forest (Medical Office Administration);

Bessie Nelson Trado Memorial/First United Methodist Church: Elizabeth Kafu of Raleigh (Histotechnology);

Triangle Home Health Care, Inc.: Wyverta Rawls of Youngsville (Associate Degree Nursing);

Triangle North Healthcare Foundation: Rachel Shane of Norlina (Associate Degree Nursing);

Triangle North Healthcare Foundation RIBN: Sheniqua Pruden of Youngsville (Associate Degree Nursing);

Grady W. Tunstall: Alexis Young of Warrenton (Histotechnology);

Union Bank – Founding Directors: Tyler Champion of Norlina (Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration Technology);

J.P. Taylor/Universal Leaf: Timothy Reid of Creedmoor (Electrical Systems Technology);

Frank Tedder Memorial/J.P. Taylor Employees/Universal Leaf: Diego Perez Kuryla of Youngsville (Information Technology);

Vance Construction Company: Brayden DySard of Wake Forest (Welding Technology);

Vance County Association of Educational Office Professionals: Ashley Ayscue of Henderson (Associate in Arts);

Vance County Farm Bureau: Jasmine Davis of Henderson (Culinary Arts);

Veterans of Foreign Wars/Hill Cooper Post 2417, Inc.: Amaya Wilkins-Robinson of Henderson (Associate in Arts);

Ladies Auxiliary of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Hill Cooper Auxiliary Post 2417, Inc.:

Abigail Deschamps of Oxford (Medical Office Administration);

VGCC Faculty & Staff: Essie Norfleet of Louisburg (Early Childhood Education);

Warrenton Rotary Club: Gladys Fields of Norlina (Accounting and Finance);

S.M. Watkins, Sr., Memorial: Kailee Ball of Henderson (Associate in Arts);

Morris and Jean West Memorial: Brittany Sullivan of Louisburg (Associate Degree Nursing);

Brenda McGee Wester, RN: Alicia Moussa of Durham (Associate Degree Nursing);

Virginia L. Wester: Cheriss Ragland of Henderson (Business Administration);

Jerry Marshall White, Sr., Memorial: Amy Noble of Henderson (Medical Office Administration);

Michael White: Stephen Braswell of Franklinton (Human Services Technology);

Otha Wilkins Memorial: Hannah Parrott of Creedmoor (Associate in Science);

Edward L. Williams Memorial: Brittanny Tanner of Durham (Associate Degree Nursing);

Pratt and Gwendolyn Winston: Rachel Hughes of Creedmoor (Associate in Fine Arts in Visual Arts);

Kate M. Wood Memorial: Samantha Fountain of Henderson (Business Administration);

W.T. Yancey Memorial: Yemika Hernandez of Creedmoor (Medical Assisting);



Mary Ann Antley: Roderick Lewis of Oxford (Information Technology-Network & Security)

Corbitt Preservation Association: Herbert Davis of Henderson (Mechatronics Engineering Technology);

Nannie Crowder: Urquhart Brooks of Oxford (Associate in Science), Marvion Criddle of Henderson (Information Technology), Belete Dress of Morrisville (Radiography), Eden Ketema of Durham (Radiography), Kelley Oakley of Youngsville (Cosmetology), Ashton Williams of Oxford (Associate in General Education – General Science) and Christopher Williams of Louisburg (Human Services Technology);

Henry and Cathy Dixon: April Zuniga-Trejo of Henderson (Associate Degree Nursing);

Duke Energy: Adriana Barnett of Roxboro (Associate in General Education – General Science), Natalie Bedard of Wake Forest (Histotechnology), Rebecca Felts of Norlina (Associate in Arts), William Hales of Franklinton (Information Technology), Ashlee Henderson of Henderson (Pharmacy Technology) and Jasmine Terry of Henderson (Associate in General Education – General Science);

Glen Raven: Jacob Burnette of Oxford (Associate in Science), Sophia Camacho of Stem (Associate in General Education – General Science), Christopher Cox of Oxford (Associate in Science), Emma Day of Franklinton (Early Childhood Education), Robyn DiBiase of Youngsville (Associate in Science), Paola Contreras Escalera of Garner (Associate in Science), Tevon Johnson of Raleigh (Information Technology-Network & Security), John Lawson of Creedmoor (Radiography), Kayla Whirley of Henderson (Radiography), Ashley Wilkins of Stem (Associate in Arts) and Santana Williams of Temple Hills, Maryland (Associate in Arts);

Lloyd Gabriel Memorial/Air Control, Inc.: Joshua Manson of Louisburg (Histotechnology);

Granville Education Foundation: Kaylee Lumpkin of Oxford (Associate in General Education – General Science) and Kimberly Trejo of Butner (Associate in General Education – General Science);

Allen and Margaret Jones Memorial: David Bragg of Franklinton (Automotive Systems Technology);

“Ray of Hope” Allen and Margaret Jones: Karla Rosado of Creedmoor (Associate Degree Nursing);

State Employees Credit Union Foundation — Curriculum: McKenzie Cox of Oxford (Associate in Arts), Callie Englebright of Oxford (Associate in General Education – General Science), Caroline Nutt of Henderson (Associate in Arts) and Caroline Williamson of Bullock (Medical Office Administration);

State Employees Credit Union Foundation — Continuing Education: Annette Anderson of Henderson (Nurse Aide Level 1), David Blue of Sugar Grove (Nurse Aide Level 1), Carly Cole of Bullock (Nurse Aide Level 1), Emily Cooper of Louisburg (Nurse Aide Level 1), Haley Critcher of Franklinton (Nurse Aide Level 1), Tiffany Crowder of Kittrell (Nurse Aide Level 1), Franchesta Davis of Louisburg (Nurse Aide Level 1), Meagan (Maddox) Dickerson of Henderson (Nurse Aide Level 1), Jordan Edwards of Louisburg (Nurse Aide Level 1), Roberta Egerton of Louisburg (Nurse Aide Level 1), Thomas Elliott of Kittrell (Nurse Aide Level 1), Mindy Funes of Henderson (Nurse Aide Level 1), Orquidia Gonzalez of Henderson (Nurse Aide Level 1), Kiymani Grant of Oxford (Nurse Aide Level 1), Kendra Hargrove of Kittrell (Nurse Aide Level 1), Sherita Hargrove of Henderson (Nurse Aide Level 1), Calvin Houston of Stem (Nurse Aide Level 1), Morgan (Morris) Jarman of Warrenton (Nurse Aide Level 1), April Jones of Youngsville (Nurse Aide Level 1), Demetress Lee of Youngsville (Nurse Aide Level 1), Kelsey Maddox of Henderson (Nurse Aide Level 1), Megan May of Kittrell (Nurse Aide Level 1), Kimberly Montgomery of Norlina (Nurse Aide Level 1), Clarissa Overton of Winston Salem (Nurse Aide Level 1), LaKisha Richardson of Henderson (Nurse Aide Level 1), Jacqueline Waddell of Henderson (Nurse Aide Level 1) and Pearl Williams of Henderson (Nurse Aide Level 1);

Dan and Susan Sullivan: Tiara Daniel of Hollister (Associate Degree Nursing);

Julia Ann Taylor: Tony Williams of Louisburg (Bioprocess Technology);

VGCC Faculty & Staff: Rana Alashmali of Timberlake (Associate in Science), Tyliyah Ball of Henderson (Cosmetology), Hailey Brightful of Louisburg (Associate in Science), Quincy Burreal of Kittrell (Associate in Science), Hannah Edwards of Henderson (Associate in General Education – General Science), Shelly Ellington of Oxford (Associate in General Education – General Science), Kayla Hargrove of Warrenton (Associate in Arts) and Flora Mwaniki of Creedmoor (Practical Nursing);

Kathryn Bentley Watson: Joseph Willis of Castalia (Associate in General Education – General Science)


Vance Co. Commissioner Tommy Hester Announces Plan to Run for NC Senate


Thomas “Tommy” Hester, Jr., lifelong Henderson native, long-serving Vance County Commissioner and local businessman, has announced that he will file for the NC Senate District Three seat in the 2020 election. The filing period begins Monday, December 2, 2019.

NC’s third district is currently represented by Democratic Senator Erica Smith-Ingram and includes Vance, Warren, Northampton, Bertie, Martin and Beaufort counties.

With Smith-Ingram expected to file for federal office as opposed to filing for reelection to the state senate, Hester said the time is right to seek an office that “can help bring jobs and education – the two most important factors in economic growth – to rural NC counties.”

Tommy Hester announces to the local media on Wednesday that he will file for the NC Senate District Three seat in the 2020 election. The filing period begins Monday, December 2, 2019. (WIZS photo)

All six of the counties comprising district three are considered Tier 1, a distinction that makes them among the most economically distressed in the state. Rankings are based on an assessment of a county’s unemployment rate, median household income, population growth and assessed property value per capita, according to the NC Department of Commerce.

As a resident and county commissioner in a Tier 1 county, Hester said he is prepared to bring jobs and education to the district and believes his experience on the North Carolina Golden Leaf Board of Directors and Chairman of the North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority, in part, make him an ideal candidate.

“Being involved in Golden Leaf and being in Raleigh with the Rural Infrastructure Authority for six years has given me the background on what needs to be done to help rural counties,” stated Hester.

In addition to his many service roles in Vance County, Hester has connections to other rural NC counties including the three years he was stationed in Warren County as part of his 15 years of National Guard service and connections made through wife Jenny, a Northampton County native.

Locally, Hester has served the Henderson-Vance Economic Development Committee as its elected Board Chair. He was also named Henderson-Vance Chamber of Commerce’s Citizen of the Year in 2017 and has been recognized with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, North Carolina’s highest civilian award.

A Vance County Commissioner for 14 years, Hester said he will only resign the local office if he wins the senate seat. If elected, Hester would also be required to resign from the Golden Leaf Foundation and the Rural Infrastructure Authority.

Hester pointed to recent examples of growth in Vance County, many of which he was either directly or indirectly involved with, as proof that the tide can turn in counties categorized as “economically distressed.” Examples included:

  • Expansion of the Henderson-Vance Industrial Park located off US-1
  • Mako Medical Laboratories opening in Henderson, bringing 100+ jobs (to date)
  • New Vance Charter School Building and Salvation Army Building in Henderson
  • Wireless Broadband agreement to provide service to 95-98% of Vance County
  • Vance County’s water expansion project, currently on phase 3

While he is proud of the strides made in Vance County in recent years, Hester said he also wants to help expand that growth to other rural counties via the third district senate seat.

“There’s no one running right now or announced to run except for me. I’m running for it because I care about NC and I care about rural counties. If we help one rural county, we are helping all surrounding counties.”

The general election for the North Carolina State Senate will be held on November 3, 2020. A primary is scheduled for March 3, 2020.

If elected, Hester would assume office the first day of the new General Assembly in January 2021. Members of the state senate serve two-year terms and are not subject to term limits.

DEA’s Drug Take Back Day Yields Highest NC Total Ever Collected

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

-Press Release, U.S. Department of Justice

North Carolinians participating in the United States Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA’s) 18th National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day Initiative (NTBI) held on Saturday, October 26, turned in 38,541 pounds of unwanted or expired medications for safe and proper disposal at sites set up throughout the state. This was the highest amount ever collected during the previous 17 Rx drug take back events.

Now in its 10th year, this event continues to remove large volumes of opioids and other medicines from the nation’s homes, where they could be stolen and abused by family members and visitors, including children and teens.

Beginning with October’s campaign, DEA accepted vaping devices and cartridges in addition to medications at all of its drop-off locations. With hundreds of confirmed lung injuries and dozens of deaths attributed to vaping use, DEA is working diligently in our communities and through our outreach efforts to spread the word about the dangers of vaping. Although no vaping devices/cartridges were reported to have been collected locally, these items may have been collected nationally (pending confirmation).

“Robert J. Murphy, the Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the DEA Atlanta Field Division commented, “DEA’s eighteenth Prescription Drug Take-Back campaign was a success both locally and nationally. While North Carolinians turned in 38,541 pounds of unwanted or expired medications, nationally, nearly 883,000 pounds of expired and unwanted prescription medications were collected at nearly 6,174 sites made available across the United States. Also, in an effort to combat another emerging public health threat – particularly to our nation’s youth – we’re proud to have extended the same opportunity to those looking to dispose of harmful vaping products.” I would like to thank the multitude of partners (both law enforcement and nonlaw enforcement) who worked tirelessly to make this event another great success.”

The public has embraced Take Back Day events because they provide easy, no-cost opportunities to remove medicines languishing in the home that are highly susceptible to misuse, abuse, and theft. Public demand for safe and secure drug disposal has also resulted in a significant increase in year-round drug drop boxes at law enforcement facilities, pharmacies, and elsewhere, making drug disposal even more convenient.

Complete results for DEA’s fall Take Back Day are available at

DEA’s next National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is April 25, 2020.

The DEA encourages parents, along with their children, to educate themselves about the dangers of legal and illegal drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at, and Also, follow DEA Atlanta via Twitter at @DEAATLANTADiv.

Warrenton Christmas Parade to Delight Main Street Sat., Dec. 14

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

-Information courtesy the Rotary Club of Warrenton

The 2019 Warrenton Christmas Parade will be held on Saturday, December 14 beginning at 5 p.m. on Main Street in Historic Downtown Warrenton. The parade is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Warrenton and the Town of Warrenton.

In case of rain, the parade will be held Sunday, December 15 beginning at 5 p.m.

Applications and additional information for those interested in entering the parade are available at Town Hall (113 S. Bragg Street), Tar Heel Tire and on the Rotary Club of Warrenton’s Facebook page. Cash prizes will be awarded to the best floats!