— submitted by Erin Carter, domestic violence and sexual assault victim’s advocate with Infinite Possibilities

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM)! Every year, Infinite Possibilities, Inc. remains committed to raising awareness, urging leaders, communities, and individuals to use their voice to speak up and out against Domestic Violence. In honor of victims and survivors, we pause and stand in solidarity against domestic violence until change is evident. Domestic violence increased around the world during this ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Domestic violence is still happening and is a pervasive and life-threatening crime affecting millions of individuals across our nation regardless of age, socioeconomic status, race, religion, and education.

This DVAM 2021,it is important that we are still doing our part to bring about change in our world to stop intimate partner violence. What is one thing that you can contribute to help end Domestic Violence? It will take collective unification to see change. Let’s all do our part to bring awareness to this worthy cause.

This year’s campaign theme, #Every1KnowsSome1, strives to highlight how common domestic violence is and that it is more than physical violence. If you would like to participate, wear purple for Domestic Violence Awareness Day, also known as #PurpleThursday, will be observed Thursday, October 21, 2021. Use wearing purple as a conversation starter and share why ending domestic violence is important to you. You can also use the hashtags #DVAM21 and #Every1KnowsSome1 when utilizing social media platforms.

Join us in making a difference not only this month, but every day. Infinite Possibilities, Inc. will provide follow-up outlining an upcoming event to safely engage advocates, partners, and the public to help bring awareness during DVAM2021. Remember, Domestic Violence not only severely impacts victims, but the entire community. Domestic Violence Awareness is NOW! It is my hope that you will forward this and other important information received regarding DVAM 2021 to colleagues, friends and family as well.

(This is not a paid ad.)

North Carolina’s August County and Area Employment Figures Released

Not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates decreased in 93 North Carolina counties in August and increased in two. Five remained unchanged.

Vance County came in 98th out of 100 counties, being third worst, and Warren County was just behind at 97th.

Granville County was 16th best with Chatham at the top spot and Orange, Wake and Durham in this immediate area higher in the list as well.

Franklin County was listed in North Carolina Department of Commerce information at 51st.

Vance improved 0.3% from July to August. Granville improved 0.1% in the same period. Franklin was 0.2% percent better, and Warren was unchanged.

Vance is suffering from a 7.4% unemployment rate as it’s shown in the commerce documents because, of a workforce of 16,668, there are 1,229 without work.

Warren – 468 of the eligible 6,645 labor force are without a job.

Granville – 1,128 of 29,922 have no job.

Franklin – 1,409 of 32,183 are unemployed.

The August not seasonally adjusted statewide came in at 4.4 percent.

Easley Nominated For U.S. Attorney for Eastern District Of N.C.

Raleigh attorney Michael F. Easley, Jr. has been nominated by President Joe Biden to be a U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina.

Easley is the son of former N.C. governor Mike Easley, who served from 2001-2009.

The younger Easley is a litigation partner at the law firm of McGuireWoods LLP, where he has practiced since 2010. His practice at McGuireWoods LLP has focused on government investigations and a range of civil and criminal matters in both state and federal courts. Easley also is a member of the Criminal Justice Act Panel for the Eastern District of North Carolina, through which he has provided legal representation to indigent clients under federal indictment or investigation. He currently serves as a Council Member for the Criminal Justice Section of the North Carolina Bar Association and a member of the Board of Visitors of the University of North Carolina. He has served on the board of directors for North Carolina’s Tenth Judicial District Bar and Wake County Bar Association.

Easley graduated with honors from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2007 and earned his juris doctorate from the 2010 UNC School of Law, from which he graduated with honors and distinction.

Warren Senior Center Offers Sweet Thank You To Local Law Enforcement

As the saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” But when the picture includes the words “Thank You,” it just adds value.

Representatives of Warren County law enforcement got some special recognition during the recent National Thank a Police Officer Day. Staff and volunteers from the Warren County Senior Center delivered cupcakes and thank you cards to local law enforcement agencies to thank them for their service to the community. Thank you cards and dozens of cupcakes were delivered to the Warren County Sheriff’s Office, the Warrenton Police Department, and the Norlina Police Department on Friday, Sept. 17 as an acknowledgement of appreciation.




Tuesday Is National Voter Registration Day; Register By Oct. 8 To Vote In November

Today is National Voter Registration Day and the state board of elections has issued a statement to remind eligible individuals to register to vote and for current voters to make sure their information is up-to-date.

The voter registration deadline for the November elections is Friday, Oct. 8.

“Voting is a critical way to make an impact in your city or town, county, state and country,” said Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the state board. “If you’re eligible, we hope to see you at the polls this fall.”

In Vance County, although Henderson’s municipal elections have been rescheduled for next year to address the redrawing district lines to comply with Census data, Kittrell and Middleburg will have elections on Nov. 2.

Eligible residents have options to register, including downloading a voter registration application and returning the form to their county board of elections. Applications can be emailed, faxed, mailed or returned in person to your board of elections office.

Eligibility requirements and other information about registering to vote can be found at NCSBE.gov. Voters can check their registration status and information via the State Board of Elections’ Voter Search tool.

National Voter Registration Day is a nonpartisan civic holiday raising awareness for voter registration and encouraging Americans to register to vote. Since the first Voter Registration Day in 2012, more than 4.5 million voters nationwide have registered to vote on the holiday.

Four-County 4-H Poultry Show Flies In To Vance Regional Farmer’s Market Oct. 23

The 2021 Four County 4-H Poultry Show and Sale will be held Saturday, Oct. 23 at the Vance County Regional Farmer’s Market.

Check-in for youth and poultry will begin at 3 p.m. and the show will start at 4:15 p.m., according to information from Meg Wyatt, Franklin County 4-H agent.

Following the presentation of awards, the auction is scheduled to begin around 6:30 p.m. This year, Easter Eggers and Barred Rocks will be available at the auction.

The farmer’s market is located at 210 South Park Drive, Henderson.

Contact your county’s 4-H agent to learn more.
Read more at https://franklin.ces.ncsu.edu/2021/09/2021-four-county-4-h-poultry-show-and-sale-2/

Town Talk: Kerr-Tar Loan Programs Help Homeowners With Repairs

Homeowners in the five-county area that the Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments serves can apply for a couple of loan programs for repairs or improvements to their residences.

The deadline to submit applications is early November, and Kerr-Tar finance assistant Katie Connor said the loans are completely forgivable, provided the home remains the property of the homeowner for the life of the loan.

That’s free money, folks.

Kerr-Tar serves Vance, Granville, Warren, Franklin and Person counties and the Urgent Repair Loan Program that it is offering provides up to $10,000 over five years – $2,000 a year, Connor told John C. Rose on Thursday’s Town Talk. Applications are due in the Kerr-Tar office by 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 5.

As the name indicates, the repairs do need to be of an urgent nature – a leaky roof,  unsafe floors, ramp installation for the disabled, and HVAC repairs are just a few of the examples of acceptable repairs.

“There’s definitely some flexibility in the (type of) repair that can be done,” Connor said, “but they must be urgent.” The main goal of this loan program is to keep people in their homes, she added.

Visit kerrtarcog.org to see program criteria. There’s money for up to 20 houses in the five-county area, Connor said. This loan is considered an unsecured loan.

In general, homeowners need to be older than 62, and the home must be a stick-built structure – mobile homes and manufactured homes do not qualify. Veterans, disabled persons and families of five or more also would qualify, Connor said. Household income must be less than 50 percent of the median income in North Carolina, she added.

The other loan program is currently available for homeowners in Warren County. The Essential Single-Family Rehabilitation program offers $30,000 for repairs. This is a secured loan, Connor said, which means that qualified applicants would have a deed of trust placed on their property for the duration of the six-year loan. This also is a forgivable loan, which means that no money has to be repaid, provided the homeowner doesn’t sell the property during the life of the loan.

The criteria for both loan programs are very similar, but Connor said household income for ESFR program applicants must be 80 percent of the median income for the state.

Because of the larger amount of the loan, Connor said projects would have to be substantial enough to bring a home up to acceptable standards. “We can’t just do one thing for this house.” There is money for five houses, she said.

The deadline to submit applications for the ESFR program is Monday, Nov. 1 at 5 p.m. All applications should be submitted to the Kerr-Tar office, located at 1724 Graham Ave., Henderson.

The applications and related information are available at kerrtarcog.org. Connor said applications also can be mailed to interested applicants. Simply call 252.436.2040 ext. 6071 and leave your name and mailing address and Connor said she will put the paperwork in the mail. They also are available at area Senior Centers as well as county government offices.

As is often the case, demand usually exceeds the amount of money available, Connor said. And the Kerr-Tar COG must apply each year to receive the funds.

Click Play for complete details and audio.


Deadline To Get Help To Remove Abandoned Manufactured Homes Extended To Feb. 2022

Warren County residents who want help getting rid of abandoned manufactured homes have some extra time to do so – the deadline to participate in the grant program has been extended until Feb. 25, 2022.

The current grant cycle opened on March 1, 2020.  Cost to eligible property owners is $305.00 for a singlewide unit ($35.00 demolition permit and $270.00 landfill tipping fees) or $575.00 for a doublewide unit ($35.00 demolition permit and $540.00 landfill tipping fees).  County-approved contractors will be reimbursed through the state grant program, which is administered by the county.

The NC Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), through the State Solid Waste Trust Fund, previously awarded Warren County a $10,000 grant to assist in the deconstruction of abandoned manufactured homes as part of the enforcement of the County’s abandoned manufactured home ordinance.

The county commissioners adopted the original ordinance in May 2008 and then adopted an amendment in September 2009. From 2010 to 2017, Warren County was awarded three grants in three separate cycles through this program to aid eligible property owners in the legal deconstruction and disposal of abandoned singlewide or doublewide units.  These grants totaled $89,500 over the seven-year period and resulted in the removal of approximately 50 units from the county.

For more information or to apply to the County program please contact Planning and Zoning Administrator Ken Krulik at 252.257.7027 or KenKrulik@warrencountync.gov. Forms also are available at the Planning/Zoning and Code Enforcement Department, 542 West Ridgeway Street Warrenton, NC 27589.

Water Treatment Plant Project May See $3.5 M In Federal Funds



The regional water plant improvement project continues to move forward, but so far, it’s more like a steady trickle than a blast from a firehose. Rep. David Price visited the water treatment plant last week and met with officials from the area to share that there likely will be $3.5 million in federal funds appropriated for the project, which has an estimated price tag of $66 million.

Henderson Mayor Eddie Ellington said Price toured the Flemingtown Road facility and spoke with the tri-county delegation about the project, which will double the daily treatment capacity when it’s completed.

The KLRWS serves Henderson, Oxford and Warren County; Henderson is the managing partner at 60 percent and the City of Oxford and Warren County each have a 20 percent stake.

Ellington told WIZS News Tuesday that the visit  gave Price a chance to meet with mayors and managers to see first-hand how federal funding would be used.

“As the demand for water from our neighboring counties, new customers, as well as the growth we are experiencing, this is vital to our future,” Ellington said in an email. “I spoke with Rep. Price as he was leaving and he assured me he’s confident that this would make it through Congress for this fiscal year.”
Others on hand for the visit in addition to Ellington were KLRWS Chief Operator Steve Gupton, Henderson City Manager Terrell Blackmon, Oxford City Manager Alan Thornton, Warren County Manager Vincent Jones, Oxford Mayor Jackie Sergent and others, according to Ellington.

The city of Oxford is in Price’s district and he received a request for funding from city government officials; Warren County and Henderson are in G.K. Butterfield’s district and Henderson city officials requested funding on behalf of those entities. City Manager Blackmon said each congressional district was given the opportunity to submit the 10 best projects to be considered to receive federal funds in the 2022 Interior Appropriations Bill. This project represents a collaborative effort from both congressional districts, Blackmon said.

“This appropriation is only a small part of the total funding for the expansion project,” Blackmon said. The current funding commitment from the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality SRF Program for the expansion project is more than $45 million, leaving a gap of about $20 million. The $3.5 million appropriation will assist in filling the funding gap for this project, he added.

Price issued a press statement in June about his efforts to fund projects in his home district. “Clean water is not a luxury – it’s fundamental to the health and safety of our communities, but our aging water infrastructure urgently needs funding,” Price stated. “I’m pleased that the House Appropriations Interior and Environment Subcommittee included these critical projects in their annual funding bill, bringing them one step closer to reality with the passage of the House bill in Subcommittee.”

In addition to making repairs and forming expansion plans, the overall price tag is heftier because costs simply have gone up. The funding gap is preventing the project from getting underway.

One option would be to raise water rates slightly to cover the increased project cost.

In January 2021, the Henderson City Council approved a revised project cost of $57 million for upgrades to the regional water system, which serves 15 municipalities in three counties. At that time, Council member Garry Daeke, who also serves as the KLWRS advisory board chair, told WIZS that council’s action would allow the project to continue, but if additional grants or other funding streams couldn’t be secured, it could mean a rise in water rates.

Since talk of the project first began several years ago, there have been several challenges to overcome, including purchase of a new pump and rising construction costs. The original price was estimated at close to $40 million, but by the fall of 2020, the cost had risen considerably.

Warren County Appearance Assessment Rates Community For Litter, Clutter

Results from a recent assessment in Warren County about overall community appearance have been released and local officials are using the information to help with the Fall Litter Sweep, which takes place during the month of September.

The Keep Warren County Beautiful Committee used the Community Appearance Index, a tool  designed by the national Keep America Beautiful organization. The local committee is a committee within the public works department. The assessment was conducted between May and mid-June, and visually assessed the overall presence of litter, illegal signs, graffiti, abandoned or junk vehicles and outside storage, according to a press release from county officials.

Supplies for community members are now available at the Warren County Board of Elections office at 309 N. Main St., Warrenton in the John Graham Annex building.

A team of community, business, and government representatives conducted the visual analysis using a scoring system ranging from 1 to 4, where 1 is minimal to no litter and 4 is extremely littered.

“We are thankful for the efforts of dedicated community members like our Keep Warren County Beautiful committee, and those that have participated in litter cleanup efforts in the past,” stated Warren County Manager Vincent Jones. “Our county’s roads are not simply thoroughfares; they are gateways to our community for visitors and businesses. Our roadsides are a big part of our landscape. Keeping them litter-free reflects on us all.”

Here is a breakdown of each district’s score:

  • District I (East and West Warrenton precinct including Axtell and outlying communities from Warrenton) at a 1.91.
  • District II (Sixpound precinct including Macon, Vaughan, Church Hill and Lake Gaston including Roanoke and River Precincts) came in at 3.10.
  • District III (Smith Creek precinct and Nutbush including Soul City, Wise and Oine communities) measured a 2.16.
  • District IV (Sandy Creek precinct including the Afton community) measured a 1.65.
  • District V (Fishing Creek precinct including the Hollister, Arcola, and Inez communities) measured a 2.73.

“Involving community representatives in the process is important to achieve partnership solutions and to promote individual responsibility, ownership, and pride in results,” said Warren County Committee Chair, Debbie Formyduval.

Warren County government has partnered with NCDOT to conduct countywide litter sweeps in the spring and fall since 2017; staff and volunteers also provide resources for trash collection year-round, and promote continued awareness through local radio, newspaper, and social media about the efforts of Keep Warren County Beautiful.

The Keep Warren County Beautiful Committee was established in 2020 when citizens shared concerns with the Warren County Board of Commissioners. Members of the Keep Warren County Beautiful Committee are: Marshall Brothers, Debbie Formyduval, Paula Pulley, Laura Tucker, April Moss, Angela Hyson, Alaina Pulley, and Austin Brothers.

For more information about the Keep Warren County Beautiful committee, contact Marshall Brothers, the Director of Warren County Public Works, at marshallbrothers@warrnecountync.gov.

For more information about the September Litter Sweep, contact Debbie Formyduval at 252.257.2114.