Free Pop-Up Medical Clinic Coming To Henderson May 14-15

Vance Charter School is going to be the site for an upcoming pop-up free medical clinic for residents in the Henderson and Vance County area.

The clinic is part of Remote Area Medical (RAM), an organization whose mission is to provide quality medical care by health professionals to those underserved and uninsured populations. The RAM chapter at Duke University has enlisted its members to organize and finalize plans for the weekend clinic.

Some of the procedures that will be done include general exams, women’s health exams, dental fillings, cleanings and extractions and eye exams – with eyeglasses made on site.

Doctors, nurses, dentists, optometrists and other health professionals will see patients on Saturday, May 14 and Sunday, May 15, beginning at 5 a.m. each day.

Clinics have historically serviced between 200 and 2000 community members over a single weekend, according to Rishabh Jain, a Duke University senior who is one of the organizers for the local event.

Jain said RAM appreciates local collaborators Dr. Brian Mathis of Vance Charter School, Capt. Derrick Smith of the Henderson Salvation Army, and Dr. Lawrence Greenblatt of the Duke Department of Medicine to host a clinic to serve central North Carolina.

There will be extensive COVID-19 protections in place, including HEPA-filtered dental bays, hospital-grade disinfecting protocols and temperature screening and social distancing of waiting patients.

“Patients will never be asked any questions about insurance status—all are welcome,” SS said in an email to WIZS News. “We believe this will be a great initiative that brings diverse cohorts of the Henderson community together.”

Henderson-Vance Chamber of Commerce President Michele Burgess said business/professional sponsorship opportunities are available now.  “Your financial assistance is needed, and you will see a direct return on your investment to this special cause with marketing and promotional signage, social media ads, your business name on volunteer t-shirts, and in media news releases,” Burgess said in a statement to WIZS News.

The payments can be made to Vance Charter School, and funds will be used to help cover hotel rooms for four nights for more than 30 volunteers who come in early and stay late to set up the tents, medical equipment, tables/chairs, and clean to prepare for the two-day event.

“Our Chamber’s theme for 2022 is ‘A Year of Community’ and what better way to bring our community together to help provide needed medical care for our citizens,” Burgess said.

She said many local medical professionals will be assisting in the event, as well as other area non-profit groups.

Vance Charter:

There is a drop-down box that indicates whether you want to pay by check or credit card, and then just click on Henderson RAM.  If you prefer to drop off your corporate/personal check, you can do so at Vance Charter School on Ross Mill Road in Henderson.  Please indicate that it is for the Free RAM clinic.

Learn more about RAM at

Duke Energy

Duke Energy Announces Second Year Of Downtown Revitalization Grant Program

Duke Energy Foundation continues its commitment to help downtown communities across the state through a program poised to award $500,000 in downtown revitalization grants.

The application process is open now, according to Duke Energy District Manager Tanya Evans, and this grant cycle marks the second year to support local businesses through the Duke Energy Hometown Grant Revitalization Program.

In 2021, the foundation provided $1.5 million to more than 380 small businesses across the state as a way to support small business recovery since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a press statement, hometown revitalization grants will be awarded in 20 communities across the state. Each community could receive as much as $25,000, Evans said.

Small businesses will partner with a local 501c3 organization, which will create a microgrant program that small businesses will be able to access.

Microgrants may range from $500 to $2,500 per individual business, according to information from Duke Energy. The grant application is open now through May 31, 2022 and is available at Grant decisions will be announced in August.

Nonprofits that participated in the 2021 program are not eligible to apply in 2022, Evans said. Working Landscapes in Warren County administered the microgrants in 2021.

“The pandemic brought unprecedented challenges to small businesses, and reminded us all how important they are to creating and sustaining vibrant downtowns,” said Stephen De May, Duke Energy’s North Carolina president. In a written press statement, De May continued by saying “Our hometown revitalization grants were very well-received across our communities last year. We hope this new wave of funding will continue to help local businesses and storefronts recover from a difficult few years and position them for a more prosperous future.”

The Duke Energy Foundation provides philanthropic support to meet the needs of communities where Duke Energy customers live and work. The foundation contributes more than $30 million annually in charitable gifts, and is funded by Duke Energy shareholder dollars. Learn more at

30th Annual Letter Carriers Food Drive – Sat, May 14

— submitted by Rob Barker, president of local branch of the National Association of Letter Carriers

Saturday, May 14, 2022 is the 30th Annual Letter Carriers Food Drive.

Please place non-perishable food in or by your mailbox and we will collect it and deliver it to local food banks. All food collected in this county will stay in this county and will be distributed to ACTS, Lifeline, The Salvation Army, ARC and Hope House.

In Warren County which is part of our unit, it will be distributed to Loaves and Fishes and the Senior Center.

This is a nationwide food collection drive and your help is greatly appreciated.

We were unable to have it the last two years due to COVID so there is definitely a need for food everywhere.

In 2019, the last year we had it, we collected almost 14,000 pounds.

Duke Energy

Duke Energy Celebrates Line Workers

— information from Tanya Evans, District Manager, Duke Energy

Duke Energy and utilities nationwide celebrated “front-line heroes” on Monday, honoring those who keep the power flowing to homes and businesses every day.

Evans wrote in an email sent to WIZS that more than 3,200 line workers are part of the Duke Energy team in the Carolinas, “and we need more.”

She said, “The energy industry estimates 800 entry level line workers are required per year for the next five years in North Carolina alone.”

See more at

“We are actively looking for diverse, new talent. We are partnering with Nash Community College to help train for these positions,” Evans said.

But for now Evans said, “Please join us as we salute all of the utility line workers, who are constantly going the extra mile to provide reliable electric service to customers.”

(Duke Energy is an advertising client of WIZS.  This is not a paid ad.)

Warren County Gets National Award For Budget Presentation

Warren County has received the distinguished budget presentation award for its FY 2021 budget from the Government Finance Officers Association.

According to information from the Chicago-based organization, the achievement reflects the commitment of the governing body and staff to meeting the highest principles of governmental budgeting. Warren County officials met nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation. These guidelines are designed to assess how well an entity’s budget serves as:

  • a policy document
  • a financial plan
  • an operations guide
  • a communications device

Budget documents must be rated “proficient” in all four categories, and in the 14 mandatory criteria within those categories, to receive the award.

“This GFOA Budget Book award is a significant accomplishment for the county,” stat County Manager Vincent Jones. “It is a priority I identified when my tenure with the county began.”

“The Board of Commissioners has focused on making sure the county is well-run, accountable, and transparent,” continued Jones. “Developing a budget book to capture our annual spending plan could not have been accomplished without a dedicated Warren County staff and leadership team. I hope our residents will take note and are proud of this accomplishment as well.”

More than 1,700 participants in the Budget Awards Program. The most recent budget award recipients, along with their corresponding budget documents, are posted quarterly on GFOA’s website. Award recipients have pioneered efforts to improve the quality of budgeting and provide an excellent example for other governments throughout North America.

Warren County’s FY 22 budget is available online at

RISE Open House Set To Gather Input On Regional Resiliency

A regional forum about resiliency is scheduled for later this month to hear from business and civic leaders and from the community at large to collect information to be used to develop a regional vulnerability assessment.

The open house will take place on Thursday, April 28, from 6 p.m to 7:30 p.m at the Kerr-Tar Council of Governments, located at 1724 Graham Ave., Henderson.

The in-person open house will begin with a short presentation but organizers encourage anyone interested in participating to drop in any time during the 90-minute session to leave suggestions and opinions; participants may choose to join via Zoom between 10:30 a.m. and noon.

The project is called RISE – Regions Innovating for Stronger Economies and Environment – and the open house is hosted by the N.C. Office of Recovery and Resiliency, the N.C. Rural Center, the Kerr-Tar Council of Governments and the Kleinfelder group.

RISE will collect information that it will share within the region related to climate impacts such as flooding and storms, as well as how participants define resilience in the workplace or in homes, as well as community strengths. All of the information will be used to develop a regional vulnerability assessment.

According to Michele Burgess, president of the Henderson-Vance Chamber of Commerce, “As Vance County business leaders, community citizens, and members of the Henderson-Vance County Chamber of Commerce, we are encouraging you to step up and participate” in the regional forum.

The Kerr-Tar region includes Vance, Granville, Franklin, Person and Warren counties and organizers said they are looking to hear from a diverse cross-section of the community across ages, occupations and demographics.

The Zoom link is  The meeting ID is 843 8346.

The RISE project is associated with the Kerr-Tar Council of Governments. Phone Kerr-Tar at 252.436.2040 to learn more.

VGCC’s 38th Annual Golf Tournament May 9-10; Register Now!

Registration is underway for the 38th annual Vance-Granville Community College golf tournament. Golfers interested in signing up to play need to swing into action before the April 15 deadline.

The VGCC Foundation Golf Tournament is scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, May 9-10, at the Henderson Country Club.  Gupton Services, Inc. of Henderson will serve as the event’s presenting sponsor.

The tournament is a primary fundraiser for the VGCC Foundation, according to a press statement from VGCC’s Jerry Edmonds III, vice president of Workforce & Community Engagement.

All proceeds from the tournament are used to fund student scholarships and to support the mission of the college.

The golf tournament provides resources for VGCC’s efforts to remove barriers to education as it enhances and expands ways to address need-based aid for students and promote equitable outcomes for all learners, said Tanya Weary, executive director of the VGCC Foundation.

But the tournament also provides an opportunity for golfers and non-golfers alike to come together and demonstrate their support of VGCC and its impact on the broader community.

VGCC President Dr. Rachel Desmarais said she welcomes the opportunity to interact with all those who come out to play or watch. “We look forward to fellowshipping with our golf friends and thank you for your support of the VGCC mission,” Desmarais said.

The golf tournament will be held over two afternoons. Golfers who want to register in teams are asked to do so on the event’s website Entry fee includes lunch, a golfer swag bag and a cookout at the end of each day.

There also are sponsorship opportunities available for businesses looking to promote their brand and support a worthy cause. Donations may be made via the event website or by emailing

Presenting sponsor Gupton Services is a local HVAC, roofing and building automation systems company that traces its origins back to 1921, when C.P. Tanner established a sheet metal-working plant in Henderson.  Tanner Roofing became Owen Gupton Roofing and in 2019, Henderson native Greg Etheridge became its owner and president.

“As a local small business, we are happy to take a leadership role in the community and to support Vance-Granville Community College,” Etheridge said.  “If you look at the research, the benefits of postsecondary education and skills training to both the individual and our community are enormous.  The VGCC Foundation helps make education affordable and accessible to this region, and we must encourage that, in order to promote economic mobility and job security for our citizens.”

VGCC continues to be a source of economic growth because it provides an educated and skilled workforce that improves the quality of life for individual students and the community.  Careers in HVAC, electronics engineering, mechatronics, welding and auto mechanics are just a few areas in high demand.

Whether just entering the job market or making a career change, VGCC helps students along their career paths as they develop the skills needed to fill jobs in high-demand areas.

TownTalk: Pink With A Passion Hosting Walk For Cancer Awareness, Survivors

Join Pink With A Passion on Saturday, April 9 at the Warren County Recreation Complex for a walk to celebrate cancer survivors and to honor the memories of loved ones whose lives cancer has claimed.

Amena Wilson, president of Pink With A Passion, and Elaine White, vice-president, invite the public to come out to show support for all those who are battling the disease.

“We’ve been trying since 2020 to have it,” Wilson told John C. Rose on Wednesday’s Town Talk. “We are so excited to be able to bring forth this walk,” Wilson said.

The event is from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and there will be food trucks, a deejay and the local high school band present to provide entertainment. “There are so many fun activities planned,” Wilson said. Bring a lawn chair and stay for a fun-filled day, she added.

In addition to the three-mile walk, there also will be a ceremony to honor cancer survivors, who also are invited to take part in a survivors’ lap and be recognized by the crowd.

The event is not a fundraiser; rather, an opportunity to give back to the community, Wilson said, and to bring awareness to cancer patients. There will be PWAP t-shirts on sale, however.

White said she and Wilson decided to continue the fundraising efforts to help those battling cancer after they had some leftover money from when Wilson went through treatment of breast cancer after a 2018 diagnosis.

They helped White’s sister when she underwent treatment and just decided to keep it going after that.

“It makes me feel awesome – great – for doing this,” White said. Sometimes, when people’s spirits are low, it’s important to get everyone together and just make them feel good, she said.

This walk and other planned activities is a way to do just that, she said. “It’s something to encourage everybody,” she said.

Future events that Pink With A Passion plans include a Rainbow Luncheon in June. This is another “give back,” Wilson said. There will be limited seating for the free luncheon, she said, which is designed to show a little love to cancer patients and a guest of their choice. “We’ll have sit-down luncheon, encourage them and lift their spirits,” White explained.

A wellness clinic scheduled for October in conjunction with another awareness dinner, will be another fundraiser event for Pink With A Passion.

Visit, call Wilson at 252.213.5735 or White at 243.983.7476 for more information.




NC Department of Insurance

Check Those Smoke Alarm Batteries!

The catchy phrase “spring ahead, fall back” is a good reminder for setting clocks to reflect the beginning and end of Daylight Savings Time. But fire officials everywhere would love to tack on an extra reminder to check or change smoke alarm batteries, too. It’s not as catchy, but “change your clock, change your batteries” serves as a reminder that could save lives. And since Daylight Savings Time just began a few days ago, it’s still a good idea to check those batteries.

Local fire departments often will change faulty smoke detectors. Contact your local fire department to learn more about this program.

According to N.C. Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey, “changing your clock either back or forward should be like tying a string around your finger to remember to check your smoke alarm battery. The two practices need to go hand in hand.” Causey also is the state fire marshal.

“Changing the battery routinely is an important step to keep your home and everyone inside safe. Smoke alarms cut the chances of dying in a fire in half, but they have to be in proper working condition in order to do their job,” Causey said in a press statement.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, families have an average of three minutes to get out of their homes once their smoke alarm sounds due to fire. However, those life-saving minutes only occur when alarms are fully powered and operational.

There were 134 fire deaths in North Carolina in 2021, and in many of those incidents, a proper-working smoke alarm was not inside the home. So far this year, there have been 31 fire deaths.

The NFPA reports three out of every five home fire deaths across the nation resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.

Dead batteries caused one-quarter of the smoke alarm failures. Hardwired power source problems caused 7 percent of the failures. The rest of the failures occurred because of defective or improperly installed alarms.

Causey offered these tips in addition to checking and changing smoke alarm batteries:

  • Place a smoke alarm on every level of your home outside sleeping areas. If you keep bedroom doors shut, place a smoke alarm in each bedroom.
  • Teach children what the smoke alarm sounds like and what to do when they hear it.
  • Prepare and practice an escape plan – know at least two ways to get out of a room, crawl low under smoke and plan where to meet outside.
  • Keep smoke alarms clean by regularly vacuuming over and around it.  Dust and debris can interfere with its operation.
  • Install smoke alarms away from windows, doors, or ducts that can interfere with their operation.
  • Never remove the battery from or disable a smoke alarm.  If your smoke alarm is sounding “nuisance alarms,” try locating it further from kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Test your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms once a month to make sure they’re in proper working order.

Visit website smoke alarms page to learn more.

TownTalk: The Gist Of The Grist Mill

According to the 1850 U.S. Census, there were more than 140 mills in operation in Vance and surrounding counties that once were all part of Granville County.

Some were sawmills, and some were grist mills – some constructed for use by a single landowner, but many were built for commercial use.

Folks would come to the grist mills to get their corn ground, of course, but mills also were important in other ways, too.

Sadly, few mills remain today, their wooden construction giving way to time and weather. Some have undergone restoration and are reminders of the mills’ place in their heyday.

Mark Pace, North Carolina Room specialist at the Richard Thornton Library in Oxford, and Bill Harris talked about mills and their roles in the community on Thursday’s tri-weekly history TownTalk show.

Pace said his research showed that in 1850, there were 102 mills in present-day Warren County alone – twice as many as the following county on the list, he said.

The reason for that may have been because of Warren’s status among other counties in the state at the time.

“In 1840, Warren County was one of the most prosperous and prominent counties in the state,” Pace said.

In a six-mile stretch along the banks of Sandy Creek in Vance County, there were numerous mills, he said.

First, there’s Fox Pond, site of the long-popular recreation facilities. A little farther down, there was Rowland’s Pond and mill, followed by Club Pond, then Weldon’s Mill and then Southerland’s Mill. At that point the creek continues into Franklin County, where there was Laurel Mill, Pace said.

Laurel Mill has been restored and visitors can see how the mill operated. Although situated along the stream or creek, a mill usually needed a pond nearby to employ that water when the creek levels were low. A mill race worked like a canal or trough to carry water from the pond to the water wheel. Millers would use a millstone to pulverize the corn.

John Penn had a small grist mill on his farm that is situated on Michael’s Creek in present-day Granville County. That mill used a different system for grinding grain. It used a wooden wheel called a tub turbine that was situated horizontally underwater instead of the vertical waterwheel.

Because these tub turbines remained submerged and weren’t exposed to the elements or  bug infestations, they were quite durable. “They lasted for decades,” Pace said. Using water-resistant woods like cedar and bald cypress made the turbines even longer-lasting.

In the mid- to late-19th century, a millstone cost somewhere in the $50-$90 range. Pace said that would easily translate to $4,500 or so in today’s money.

“So the people who had the money were the ones that ran the mills,” he said.

But mills represented more than just a place to grind grains.

“Mills were kind of a cultural and social center of the community,” he said. In some instances, some mills served as polling places. Folks who lived on one side of the Sandy Creek would vote at one mill and folks who lived on the other side of the creek would vote at another mill, he said.

Mills in the area are associated with certain family surnames – there’s Amis, Gregory and Stark in Granville County, Weldon in Vance and Hamme in Warren, just to name a few. Hamme’s Mill just south of Warrenton is an example of just how picturesque the mills and their settings are, Pace and Harris agreed.

In Vance County, O.B. Weldon ran Weldon’s Mill along Sandy Creek, and his brother operated another mill as well, Pace said.

Granville County’s Rufus Amis Mill, currently undergoing a restoration, and the Gregory Mill near Stovall serve as the county’s two existing examples of mills. Dalton Mill near Grassy Creek had been one of the oldest and largest in the area, dating back to the early 1800’s. It was taken down in 1993.

The Perry family owned Cascine in Franklin County south of Louisburg and there’s a mill that survives on that property today. If you count the basement, that structure stands five stories tall.

Want to learn more about mills and their history in North Carolina? Visit the North Carolina Room of the Richard Thornton Library and check out a book titled Beginner’s Guide to Grist Mills in North Carolina.

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