VGCC to hold Bone Marrow Registration events

Vance-Granville Community College, in partnership with the Project Life Movement and the “Save the Fox” campaign, is planning a four-county bone marrow registration drive in October.

Members of the community are invited to join VGCC students, faculty and staff at one of four events being held on each of the college’s campuses: Monday, Oct. 26, from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. in the student lounge in Building 2 on Main Campus in Vance County; Tuesday, Oct. 27, from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. in the multi-purpose room on the Franklin County Campus near Louisburg; Wednesday, Oct. 28, from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. in the seminar room (G1131) on South Campus, located between Creedmoor and Butner; and Thursday, Oct. 29, from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. in Building 2 on the Warren County Campus in Warrenton.

There will also be a station set up outside on each campus to assist visitors from the community.

At each event, participants will have their cheek swabbed to provide DNA that will enter a growing bone marrow donor registry. The painless registration process takes only a few minutes, but could save a life if a participant turns out to be a match for someone in need of a bone marrow transplant. Such treatments are the only hope for many people diagnosed with leukemia, lymphoma, sickle cell anemia and other blood cancers and diseases. Around 60 percent of those in need of a donation currently cannot find a donor match, according to Project Life, a national movement that started with students at Davidson College and has spread to more than 25 other schools.

Project Life supports a local campaign called “Save the Fox,” named after North Carolina Superior Court Judge Carl Fox of Orange County. Judge Fox was diagnosed with blood cancer in April and needs a bone marrow transplant.

Participants must be between the ages of 18 and 55 and in good health to join the registry. A video from Project Life featuring Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly is posted online at  to demonstrate the easy cheek swab process.

“We are excited that students are taking the initiative on this drive,” said VGCC academic & career coach Seletha Pherribo, who is helping to organize the events. Nicholas Kemp of Franklinton, a Radiography student, is coordinating the drive at the college’s South Campus, while Associate Degree Nursing student Erica Medlin of Oxford is coordinating it on Main Campus. Medical Assisting students at VGCC’s Franklin Campus are taking the lead there. The Student Government Association and other student organizations will also be supporting the effort. “We hope to make this an annual tradition at VGCC, and register as many members of our community as possible,” Pherribo added. “As the ‘Save the Fox’ campaign says, ‘together, we can save lives.’”

For more information, contact Seletha Pherribo at (252) 738-3518 or or Dr. David S. Lindsay at (828) 772-0365 or

Anyone who is unable to attend one of the VGCC events but wants to join the registry can find more information at

VGCC Drama students present Shakespeare spoof

via Andrew Beal

Theatre lovers will soon be able to enjoy all 37 of William Shakespeare’s plays in one evening — sort of — at Vance-Granville Community College.

Drama students will present “The Compleat Wrks of Wllm Shkspr (Abridged)” on VGCC’s Main Campus in Henderson, Nov. 5-8. Performances begin on Thursday, Nov. 5, at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, Nov. 6, at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 7, at 2 p.m. and at 7:30 p.m.; and on Sunday, Nov. 8, at 2 p.m. All performances are in the small auditorium in Building 2.

The play features three overachieving actors attempting to perform the entire Shakespearean canon in 97 minutes. Fast-paced, witty and physical, it is an evening of laughter for Shakespeare lovers and haters alike. The three actors play all of Shakespeare’s characters with help from numerous funny costume changes and props. Due to the nature of the humor, the play is recommended for ages 14 and over.

Written by Adam Long, Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield, founding members of the “Reduced Shakespeare Company,” “The Compleat Wrks” was first performed in 1987. The London Evening Standard called the play “wildly imaginative, thoroughly affectionate to its source material and, above all, infectious fun.”

Students in the cast are Jordan Bunting of Macon, Spencer Nunn of Warrenton and Lee Powell of Oxford.

Betsy Henderson, the VGCC Theatre Arts/speech instructor and department chair of Fine Arts and Humanities, directs the play. Jason Sharp serves as the technical director. VGCC staff member and alumna Tia Garren of Henderson is the assistant director. Other members of the crew include students Chris Nicholson of Bullock, Jerome Bulluck of Henderson, Brittany Patterson of Henderson, Helen Claiborne of Oxford and Jessie Hartley of Oxford.

Admission is $10 for the general public, and $5 for students and VGCC employees. Tickets may be purchased at the door, but attendees are encouraged to secure their seats by making reservations. For more information and to reserve seats, contact Betsy Henderson at or (252) 738-3371.

Small Business Summit and Expo to be held October 20 at Warren County Armory

via Andrew Beal

The Vance-Granville Community College Small Business Center has announced the complete lineup of presenters for the fourth annual Small Business Summit and Expo, which will be held Tuesday, Oct. 20, from 11:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. at the Warren County Armory Civic Center in Warrenton.

The Chamber of Commerce of Warren County, the Warren County Economic Development Commission, the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Warren County Center, and the Lake Gaston Regional Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center are partnering with the college to organize the event, which has the theme, “Weaving the Fabric of a Thriving Economy.” CenturyLink is the presenting sponsor. Other co-sponsors are Halifax Electric Membership Corporation, The Warren Record, Hundley’s Greenhouses, Inc., The Lake Gaston Gazette-Observer, 1450 AM WIZS, the Roanoke Rapids Daily Herald, The Daily Dispatch and WARR.

The summit kicks off with a keynote address during lunch by Susan E. Harris, owner of Quilt Lizzy in Warrenton. Her discussion is entitled “Why Your Small Town is a Great Place to Do Business.”

For the rest of the afternoon, attendees can choose from among several breakout sessions being held simultaneously.

During Session 1, from 1:15 until 2:15 p.m., the choices are: “Creative Opportunities for Arts and Crafts Businesses in the Community” with professional artist and educator Theresa Brown; “Making Your Business Model Work in a Small Town” with Warrenton town manager Robert Davie; and “Turning Your Passion Into a Business” with Adam Fields, owner of AF Wake & Wakeboard World Champion.

Session 2, from 2:30 until 3:30 p.m., offers these options: “Farm to Fork Enterprise” with Crystal Smith and Paul McKenzie of N.C. Cooperative Extension and Gabe Cummings of Warren FoodWorks; “Emerging Consumer Markets for Agriculture” with Debbie Hamrick, Director of Specialty Crops for the North Carolina Farm Bureau Federation; and “Social Media: The Black Hole” with Dave Blodgett of Buggs Media.

For the third and final session (3:45 until 4:45 p.m.), attendees will select either “Financing Opportunities for Small Businesses” with Barry Ryan of the North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center and Lou Grillo of the Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments; “USDA Loans & Grants Program” with Rhonda Pope, USDA Farm Service Agency’s Strike Force Coordinator and County Executive Director at large, Michelle Winslow, Dock Jones and Rob Satterfield, all of USDA/Farm Service Agency, and Lyn Millhiser of USDA/Rural Development; or “Social Media: The Black Hole” with Dave Blodgett of Buggs Media.

Between breakout sessions, attendees can browse through booths set up by representatives of various resources for small businesses. These include CenturyLink, Carter Bank & Trust, Ag Carolina Farm Credit, N.C. Rural Center, North Carolina Cooperative Extension – Warren County, Warren County Economic Development Commission, USDA, Kerr Tar Regional Council of Governments, Roanoke Rapids Daily Herald, Lake Gaston Regional Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center, Vance-Granville Community College, Vance-Granville Community College Small Business Center, Halifax Electric Membership Corporation, North Carolina Farm Bureau, North Carolina Institute of Minority Economic Development, The Daily Dispatch, WARR, and The Warren County Chamber of Commerce.

The purpose of the Small Business Summit and Expo is to engage, empower and enrich participants to help make their small businesses more successful. “We welcome all aspiring entrepreneurs, small business owners, and non-profit leaders to participate in this inspirational, educational and motivational experience with us,” said Tanya Weary, director of the VGCC Small Business Center.

Lunch is provided free of charge by CenturyLink to the first 50 registered participants. After that point, lunch is $10.

For more information, call Tanya Weary at (252) 738-3240 or e-mail her at

VGCC Ambassadors Announced

Vance-Granville Community College has selected 13 outstanding students to serve as ambassadors during the 2015-2016 school year. Ambassadors represent the college at special campus and community functions, among other duties.

This year’s ambassadors include Dianna DeWeese of Creedmoor (Accounting and Business Administration), who serves as lead ambassador; Emory Gant-Hawkins of Henderson (Culinary Arts); Joy Herndon of Henderson (College Transfer/Vance County Early College High School);  Tonya Parrish of Henderson (Radiography); Shane O’Malley of Inez (College Transfer/Warren Early College High School); Ambrianna Winston of Manson (Office Administration); Daniel Davis of Norlina (College Transfer/Warren Early College High School); Erica Medlin of Oxford (Associate Degree Nursing); Cadeema Scotland of Oxford (Accounting and Business Administration); Francis Scotland of Oxford (College Transfer); Michael Frink of Raleigh (College Transfer); Kathy Conant of Wake Forest (Medical Office Administration); and Adam Rooker of Wise (Criminal Justice).

VGCC Ambassadors 2015-16

To qualify as an Ambassador, a student must have attended VGCC for one year and have achieved a 3.0 cumulative grade-point average. Each nominee undergoes committee interviews.

The Vance-Granville Community College student ambassadors for 2015-2016 include, in front, from left: Shane O’Malley, Daniel Davis, Adam Rooker, Joy Herndon and Cadeema Scotland; in back, from left: Francis Scotland, Dianna DeWeese, Emory Gant-Hawkins, Tonya Parrish and Michael Frink; not pictured: Kathy Conant, Erica Medlin and Ambrianna Winston.

Ambassadors receive special training through workshops covering leadership, motivation, hospitality and etiquette. In order for them to be helpful and responsive to visitors, they receive instruction in the college’s history, programs and services. Their duties include serving as guides or hosts and hostesses at events such as commencement, orientation for new students, scholarship awards ceremonies, college-sponsored concerts and activities at the Civic Center, and the annual Career Day. For their services to the college, ambassadors receive a scholarship.

For more information about becoming a student ambassador, call Kay Currin at (252) 738-3409.

Stronger Economies Together

Stronger Economies Together (SET) Coming To Our Area Soon

A federal program started in 2010 that is in place in over 50 regions in 28 states is about to have its Kick Off organizational meeting on October 5th at 8:30 A.M. at the Granville County Convention and Expo Center.

SET is a program designed to develop a plan for fostering economic development within a specific region.  In this instance, it is for Vance, Granville, Warren, Franklin and Person Counties, with the organizers being the USDA Rural Development and the NC Cooperative Extension at NC State.  They chose the Kerr-Tar Regional Development District to create a plan for the five counties that will lay out strategies for developing and implementing an economic development blueprint that strategically builds on the current and emerging economic strengths of the region.

Will Brooks of the Kerr-Tar Regional Council is leading the project, and this event will be the first of its kind in the local area.

Other attempts of organizing counties together have been successful in cross-marketing each of the counties’ industrial parks; however this will be the first attempt to develop a strategic plan with Regional Economic Goals combining the five counties’ strengths and weakness together into one document using the Three Waves of Economic Development, plus capitalizing on known assets:

  • Industrial Recruiting – Going after outside businesses
  • Cost Competition – Retain and expand existing businesses
  • Regional Competitiveness – Identify regional resources to promote business opportunities
  • Asset Promotion – Building on natural features

A “Civic Engagement Forum Kick-Off” will be held at the Granville County Convention & Expo Center  at 8:30 A.M. on October 5th.  According to Brooks, there will be about 20 stakeholders from different areas who will develop the strategic plan.  This Regional Economic Development Plan will serve as the road map for the future economic development efforts of The Kerr-Tar Regional Economic Development District.

Head Start Under Fire

by George Rush and WIZS News Staff


The Head Start Board has held two special meetings,  the most recent being on September 10.  The two meetings have been described as “Mass Chaos,” with those in attendance challenging the Board and Staff with comments such as: don’t you dare look at me or I will get up in your face.  Those in attendance have openly stated that they felt threatened by a vocal and hostile environment exhibited at the two special meetings.

The next chapter in the saga of the FVW Opportunity took place at Thursday’s meeting where the board voted to remove Sara Coffey as the Board Chair.  Ms. Coffey was not at the meeting because she was in the hospital.  Now the only remaining question is, how long will the CEO of Head Start remain now that the Head Start Board Chair is no longer?

The Franklin-Vance-Warren Board of Directors and Administration are under attack by local activists who have alleged many areas of misconduct by the Board and Administration, including the following:

  • Deplorable Conditions at Head Start Facilities
  • Bullying by the Administration of Certain Employees
  • Spoiled food, Rat droppings in FVW Facilities
  • Wrongful Termination of Employees
  • Mismanagement of Federal Funding

Current and former employees picketed local facilities for about three weeks carrying signs saying CEO Must Go, this as a part of the public display that organizers believe will result in major changes at FVW, such as getting rid of the CEO.  There are also questions about who is the attorney for the organization, and whether the Board approved the appointment of a new attorney in late April.

The local activists also claim that they were not able to get a meeting with the Board on two different occasions and have filed complaints with the EEOC, State Department of Labor and the Department of Health and Human Services.

The Board has agreed to hire an outside investigator who will look into all the allegations that have been voiced by the protesters.  The Board also agreed to contact the State Auditors and discuss the protesters’ concerns about how agency funds were spent. At a recent meeting, a motion was made to suspend the CEO, Sara Rudolph, with pay until the results of the investigation were available.  The motion did not pass by a vote of 11 to 5.

Head Start works to address the needs of at-risk children in the community.  Their charge is to provide additional schooling for children to promote language, literacy, math and science concepts and social and emotional development.  Children receive health screening, nutritional meals and mental health services.  These are very important services for rural, Tier 1 and 2 communities.

Preview: Optimist Bowl

by Kevin Bullock

It has been a tale of two seasons for Vance County High School football teams. Northern Vance comes into Friday’s game red hot against Southern, and yet the Raiders will look to turn their season around against the crosstown Vikings.

Northern Vance has already picked up a victory this season over 4A East Chapel Hill, and had an impressive victory last week against Warren County.

Southern suffered a tough loss against Ravenscroft in week one, and J.F. Webb was able to pull away from the Raiders late in the fourth quarter in week two.

Players to watch:

Northern goes the way of Kristopher Haywood. The senior Viking quarterback will need the time to find his friends Joel Royster and Elijah Stewart. When he is pressured he as the running ability to take it down the field, but as a result is prone to major hits along the sideline. Haywood needs to say healthy if Northern wants to move the ball. Todd McKoon is the player to watch along the defensive line. You may think we are crazy, but no, this 5’6 145lb defensive lineman makes a great nose tackle.

Southern goes the way of their wide receivers. Mark Baldwin, Zamari Ellis, Laronta Durham, and others must limit their drops this week as compared to their game against J.F. Webb if they hope to stand a chance against Northern. Senior quarterback Jerry Throckmorton has a cannon attached to the right side of his body, which excuses the occasional overthrow. Raider wide receivers had over seven dropped passes last week, and that cannot happen Friday if the Raiders want the win.

The Optimist Bowl this year is at Southern Vance. Attend if you can, but listen to WIZS inside Raider Stadium on the all new or on the free Tune-In radio app. Kickoff is at 7:30p.m.

We hope to see you there.

Golden LEAF Scholarships Awarded

A group of students from Vance-Granville Community College recently received scholarships through the Golden LEAF Scholarship program for the North Carolina Community College System. The scholarship program, designed to help North Carolinians attend the state’s community colleges, is funded through a $750,000 grant from the Golden LEAF Foundation.

The scholarship can be used for tuition, books, fees, supplies, transportation and childcare related to attending classes during the 2014-15 academic year, and industry-recognized credential testing expenses that address skill gaps upon course completion. Eligible students must demonstrate financial need and reside in rural counties that are tobacco-dependent and/or economically distressed. Scholarships for both occupational and curriculum students are available during the fall, spring and summer semesters.

The VGCC students who were awarded Golden LEAF scholarships for the summer 2015 term (with their respective programs of study) include:

Jerrell Branch of Norlina (School-Age Education);
Tanita Canty of Kittrell (Early Childhood Education);
Shakeeta Garland of Henderson (Nurse Aide I);
Jerri Hunter of Henderson (Nurse Aide I);
Diandra Hyman-Graham of Warrenton (Health Unit Secretary);
Amanda Lewis of Henderson (Nurse Aide II);
Brandy Lynch of Hollister (Pharmacy Technology);
Samantha Patrick of Henderson (Associate Degree Nursing);
Cheryl Reddrick of Henderson (BioWork Process Technician);
Callie Whittaker of Henderson (Nurse Aide I); and
Jasmine Williams of Henderson (Nurse Aide I).

“The Golden LEAF Foundation is proud to have awarded over 8,000 Golden LEAF Scholarships to help North Carolinians attend our state’s community colleges,” said Dan Gerlach, Golden LEAF President. “Our hope is that these scholarships will help build the talent, knowledge and skills of our current and future workforce, especially in the rural areas of our state.”

The Golden LEAF Foundation is a nonprofit organization established in 1999 to help transform North Carolina’s economy. The foundation receives one-half of North Carolina’s funds from the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement with cigarette manufacturers and places special emphasis on assisting tobacco-dependent, economically distressed and/or rural communities across the state. The Golden LEAF Foundation works in partnership with governmental entities, educational institutions, economic development organizations and nonprofits to achieve its mission. The foundation has awarded 1,275 grants totaling more than $561 million since its inception. For more information, about the foundation, visit or call (888) 684-8404.

Students interested in applying for a Golden LEAF Scholarship should contact the VGCC Financial Aid Office at (252) 738-3280.

Rain Barrels and Tall Fescue

Rain Barrel Seminar at Warren County
Thu, August 27, noon

Learn all you need to know about how to build, install and utilize a rain barrel! Rain barrels are a great way to supplement the water supply for your garden and landscape. To be presented by Paul McKenzie, Vance-Warren Agricultural Extension Agent. Please register by calling 252-213-6095 or e-mail


Tall Fescue Season Just Around the Corner!

Do you plan to over seed or re-seed your tall fescue lawn this year? Early to mid September is the preferred time to do so. When shopping for seed, look for a blend of at least three cultivars of turf-type tall fescue. Read the seed tag to get valuable information about quality (germination percent, weed seed, other crop seed, etc.). If you have compacted soil, you may want to aerate as well. A core type aerator that pulls plugs is best. Early September is also a good time to fertilize with a slow release type.


Do You Have Backyard Poultry? Please register
NC is at risk for an outbreak of Avian Influenza

In order to prepare for a possible outbreak of Avian Influenza (which affects POULTRY not people!) the NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is asking all poultry owners to register their flocks. This includes “backyard” poultry flocks. Doing so will allow for a more rapid, comprehensive and effective response should this devastating poultry disease strike our state. For more information, including a link to an on-line registration form, visit

Warren County Man Sentenced for 2013 Murder

WARRENTON – A Warren County man took an Alford plea for second degree murder on Wednesday.

William Henry Hunter Jr., 27, of Manson, was sentenced to 144 to 185 months for his role in the 2013 death of Royvitt Lawedy Fortson.

William Henry Hunter Jr. 27 of MansonFortson, a resident of Norlina, died as a result of gunshot wounds sustained during the evening hours on Tuesday, January 1, 2013.

The shooting occurred at the BP gas station at 927 Oine Road in Norlina and was investigated by the Warren County Sheriff’s Office and the State Bureau of Investigation.

Typically, an Alford plea is chosen by a defendant who maintains their innocence but admits the State has sufficient evidence to convict and agrees to be treated as guilty.