Cordell Motorcade To Pass By Fire Departments, City Hall Friday

The funeral service for Henderson Fire Chief Steve Cordell will be held at 2 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 3.

Beginning at 12 noon, however, a motorcade will accompany Fire Engine 5, which will transport Cordell’s coffin from Sossamon Funeral Home to South Henderson Pentecostal Holiness Church.

According to Downtown Development Director Tracy Madigan, the motorcade route will pass by both city fire stations as it makes its way from the funeral home to the church.

Upon departure from the funeral home, located on Oxford Road, the motorcade will drive past E.M. Rollins School, where Madigan said schoolchildren are expected to line the street to honor the chief as the motorcade passes by. From there, it will continue past Station 1 on Dabney Drive before turning onto Garnett Street, turning onto Rose Avenue to pass by City Hall and then back up Andrews Avenue to make its final turn onto Americal Road and arrive at the church.

Individuals are invited to gather in the vicinity of Garnett Street and Rose Avenue beginning about noon to pay their respects to the chief, who died Sunday after a battle with cancer.

The motorcade will consist of numerous public safety safety agencies, including fire personnel and motorcycle units of the State Highway Patrol.

WIZS will broadcast live the funeral service from the church at 2 p.m. and will broadcast special music and programming beginning and 1 p.m. as well as following the SHPHC service.


Time To Remove That Christmas Tree!

Those beautiful Fraser firs and other evergreens that gave our homes such a lovely fragrance and sheltered Christmas gifts should be long gone from homes by now, according to National Fire Protection Association.

That cut tree that had provided beauty and festive holiday spirit just a short while ago now poses an extreme fire hazard if it’s still up in your home – Christmas trees account for one-third of U.S. home fires that occur in January.

“As much as we all enjoy the look and feel of Christmas trees in our homes, they’re large combustible items that have the potential to result in serious fires,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of Outreach and Advocacy at NFPA.

“The longer Christmas trees remain in homes, the longer they present a risk.”

Carli notes that fresh Christmas trees, which continue to dry out and become more flammable over time, are involved in a much larger share of reported Christmas tree fires than artificial trees.

According to the latest Christmas Tree Fires report from NFPA, 160 home structure fires began with Christmas trees, resulting in two civilian deaths, 11 civilian injuries, and $12 million in direct property damage, on average each year between 2016 and 2020. Overall, fires that begin with Christmas trees represent a very small but notable part of the U.S. fire problem, considering that they are generally in use for a short time each year.

To safely dispose of a Christmas tree, NFPA recommends using the local community’s recycling program, if possible; trees should not be put in the garage or left outside. NFPA also offers these tips for safely removing lighting and decorations to ensure that they remain in good condition:

  • Use the gripping area on the plug when unplugging electrical decorations. Never pull the cord to unplug any device from an electrical outlet, as this can harm the wire and insulation of the cord, increasing the risk for shock or electrical fire.
  • As you pack up light strings, inspect each line for damage, throwing out any sets that have loose connections, broken sockets or cracked or bare wires.
  • Wrap each set of lights and put them in individual plastic bags or wrap them around a piece of cardboard.
  • Store electrical decorations in a dry place away from children and pets where they will not be damaged by water or dampness.

For more information on home fire safety all winter long, visit “Put a Freeze on Winter Fires,” a winter safety campaign NFPA promotes annually with the U.S. Fire Administration.

For more information or to view NFPA codes and standards for free, visit

First Baptist Church Celebration Friday

— submitted by Dr. Ron Cava, pastor FBC

The First Baptist Church is hosting an Epiphany Celebration commemorating the journey of the Magi to find Jesus and our daily need to know and worship Christ. The church property at 202 W. Winder Street will be circled by luminaries and live carillon music will play from 5:30 p.m. t0 6:25 p.m. on Friday, January 6, 2023. Neighbors are welcomed to come listen, walk, sit, and pray. A casual fellowship will follow in the Fellowship Hall from 6:30-7:00 p.m.

First Baptist Church exists to equip and form followers of Jesus to join with God on mission in our world.

Granville Vance Public Health Logo

COVID-19, Flu, RSV: “Triple-Demic” Can Alter Family Gatherings

Vance and Granville counties continue to be in the low transmission category for COVID-19, but trends are ticking upward in the weeks following Thanksgiving and heading into Christmas.

Some families are having to cancel plans to gather because someone in the group has tested positive for COVID-19, and others are choosing to postpone their celebrations until the New Year.

According to advice from Granville Vance Public Health Director Lisa Harrison, they’re doing the right thing. “Assess your risk and risk to others when you gather in large groups and stay home any time you have symptoms of illness,” Harrison noted in her most recent health update to the community.  the “triple-demic” combination of COVID-19, flu and RSV can wreak havoc and she reminds everyone to be completely vaccinated and boosted to ward off sickness.

“Although COVID-19 community levels in both Granville and Vance counties is finally at a ‘low’ mark, we are still hearing of a multitude of illnesses circulating like flu, RSV and strep, as well as COVID-19,” Harrison said, “so be sure to stay on alert with fighting off germs, wash those hands regularly, and stay well hydrated.”

The CDC estimates that at least 13 million Americans have already been infected with the flu this season, and more than 100,000 have been hospitalized across the U.S. — this is a larger number than last winter, when many Americans were still following COVID-related precautions. But flu shot uptake this year has been low. Only about a quarter of American adults have been vaccinated, according to the CDC. “Those who haven’t gotten their shot yet should seek one soon, said Dr. Preeti Malani, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Michigan. The sense is that this year’s vaccine is actually a pretty good match to the strain circulating. And much like COVID vaccines, flu shots don’t prevent all infections, but they can help prevent hospitalizations, deaths, as well as transmission,” according to Dr. Malani.


The health department offers COVID-19 shots and boosters as well as flu shots Monday-Friday at each location of Granville Vance Public Health. The bivalent COVID-19 booster shots by Pfizer and Moderna are available and help protect against the newest variants of COVID-19.

Following recent FDA authorization this month, the CDC has recommended the use of updated (bivalent) COVID-19 vaccines to children aged 6 months through 5 years. Please note that, unlike for older age groups, these products are not eligible for mix-and-match use.

  1. Moderna:Children ages 6 months through 5 years who previously completed a Moderna primary series can now receive a Moderna bivalent booster 2 months after their final primary series dose.
  2. Pfizer:Children ages 6 months through 4 years who are completing a Pfizer primary series will receive a Pfizer bivalent vaccine as their third primary dose. Effective immediately, the third dose of Pfizer (monovalent) is no longer authorized for this age group.

The numbers:

  • In Vance County, 64 percent of individuals have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, 58 percent have completed the initial series and 14 percent have received the updated booster.
  • In Granville County, 68 percent of individuals have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, 64 percent have completed the initial series and 16 percent have received their updated booster.

Stay updated by checking the CDC Data Tracker by County and the NCDHHS COVID-19 Dashboard. Relevant graphs from these dashboards are available on our website at 


NC DOT Offers Safety Tips When Driving During “Bomb Cyclone”

-information courtesy of N.C. Department of Transportation

People should check real-time driving conditions before traveling anywhere throughout the holiday weekend, as a winter storm is forecast to bring bone-chilling cold, rain, heavy winds and possible snow and ice in some locations.

Those conditions could make travel dangerous in North Carolina from the mountains to the coast.

The N.C. Department of Transportation has prepared for the storm. It has  more than 2,200 employees who are specially trained to use hundreds of trucks to remove snow and ice from roads. The agency has prepared its trucks and equipment in advance of this weekend’s winter storm. The NCDOT can store up to 179,000 tons of salt and sand and 1.8 million of brine to treat roads.

“Our staff is ready to clear roads of snow and debris as needed, but travelers need to be prepared, too,” said J. Eric Boyette, NCDOT secretary. “This storm could make it quite dangerous to be outside driving. Everyone should be prepared and be safe.”

If you do choose to travel this weekend, NCDOT recommends the following safety tips:

  • Be sure your vehicle is running well, has at least a half tank of gas and is equipped properly for changing conditions.
  • Keep on hand a supply kit with an ice scraper, extra windshield wiper fluid and anti-freeze, as well as a first-aid kit, blankets, flashlights, drinking water, and a basic automotive tool kit with jumper cables and flares.
  • If possible, leave early for your destination.
  • Allow extra time for your trip, regardless of the route you choose.
  • Drive slowly and maintain a safe following distance from other vehicles.
  • Approach bridges and overpasses with caution as they may accumulate ice first.
  • Come to a complete stop and yield the right of way when approaching an intersection where traffic lights are out. Treat this as a four-way stop.
  • Other tips can be found on NCDOT’s “Driving in Winter Weather” webpage.
  • For real-time travel information, visit DriveNgov or follow NCDOT on social media.

Road Construction Halted

To ease travel, the NCDOT will temporarily halt most construction activity along major highways to keep traffic flowing for holiday travel.

Construction along interstates, U.S. and key N.C. routes will be suspended from Friday morning until Tuesday evening to help reduce delays.

Construction also will be halted starting the morning of Dec. 31 through the evening of Jan. 3 for motorists traveling during the New Year’s Day holiday. Some projects will continue with work that doesn’t impact travel lanes, and other long-term lane closures will remain in place on certain projects.

Weather Could Impact Other Transportation

High winds and rough seas along the coast could cause schedule interruptions on some or all North Carolina ferry routes. Travelers should check with their terminal of departure before heading out this weekend.

As of Thursday, there are no plans in the coming days to stop or delay any of the state’s passenger rail trains. For the latest train schedules, please visit

For real-time travel information, visit or follow NCDOT on social media.

Red Cross Offers Reminders To Stay Warm, Safe During Extreme Winter Weather

As the area hunkers down against the bitter cold that will hang around through the holiday weekend, the American Red Cross offers reminders about staying safe and as warm as possible through this especially cold snap, which will bring sub-zero temperatures and blustery conditions.

Weather experts predict temperatures could drop as much as 40 degrees below normal, and regional CEO of the Red Cross in Eastern NC Barry Porter said safety should be a priority. “The Red Cross wants to help everyone prepare for the worst weather this winter to avoid any accidents that may place anyone in danger,” Porter said in a press release.

As temperatures plummet, the demand for power surges, which could create power outages.

The American Red Cross offers the following reminders during this dangerous cold weather and during other severe weather events:


  • Stay indoors and wear layers of loose fitting, lightweight warm clothes.
  • Check on relatives, neighbors and friends, particularly if they are elderly or live alone.
  • Avoid overexertion, such as shoveling snow, pushing a vehicle or walking in deep snow.
  • Caulk and weather-strip doors and windowsills to keep cold air out. Install storm windows or cover windows with plastic from the inside to provide an extra layer of insulation to keep cold air out.
  • Make sure you have enough heating fuel on hand.
  • Protect pipes from freezing
  • If possible, bring your pets inside during cold winter weather. Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas and make sure they have access to non-frozen drinking water. If the animals are outside, make sure their access to food and water is not blocked by snow drifts, ice or other obstacles.


  • Never use a stove or oven to heat your home. If using a fireplace, use a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs.
  • Place space heaters on a level, hard surface and keep anything flammable at least three feet away. Turn off space heaters and make sure fireplace embers are out before leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Use generators correctly – never operate a generator inside the home, including in the basement or garage. Don’t hook a generator up to the home’s wiring. Connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator.


  • Stay off the roads, if possible.
  • Fill the vehicle’s gas tank and clean the lights and windows to help with visibility.
  • Share the details of your route, departure time, and estimated arrival time with someone.
  • Don’t follow other vehicles too closely. Sudden stops are difficult on wet roadways.
  • Don’t use cruise control when driving in winter weather.
  • Avoid distractions such as your cell phone.
  • Know that ramps, bridges and overpasses will freeze before roadways.
  • Don’t use electrical components (like your headlights) unless the engine is running.


  • Use flashlights in the day — avoid using candles.
  • Turn off and unplug any appliances, equipment and electronics. When the power comes back on, surges or spikes can damage equipment. Leave one light on, so you’ll know when power is restored.
  • Don’t drive unless necessary. Traffic lights will be out and roads could be congested.
  • If a power outage is two hours or less, don’t be concerned about losing perishable foods. During a prolonged outage, keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to protect your food. Use perishable food from the refrigerator first. Then, use food from the freezer. If the power outage will continue beyond a day, prepare a cooler with ice for your freezer items. Keep food in a dry, cool spot and cover it at all times.
  • If you are using a generator, keep it dry and don’t use it in wet conditions.
  • Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning device inside a home, garage, basement or other partially enclosed area. Keep this equipment outside and away from doors, windows and vents, which could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors.
  • Plug appliances directly into the generator. Never plug a generator into a wall outlet.


  • Keep dry. Change wet clothing frequently to prevent a loss of body heat. Wet clothing loses much of its insulating value and transmits heat rapidly away from the body.
  • When outside, stay active to maintain body heat, take frequent breaks from the cold and avoid unnecessary exposure of any part of the body.
  • Avoid overexertion, such as shoveling heavy snow, pushing a vehicle, or walking in deep snow. The strain from the cold and the hard labor may cause a heart attack. Sweating could lead to a chill and hypothermia.
  • Drink liquids, such as warm broth or juice, but avoid caffeine and alcohol.
  • Get out of the cold immediately if signs of hypothermia or frostbite appear. These signs include shaking uncontrollably, getting extremely tired, turning very pale or getting numb fingers, toes, ears or nose.
  • To treat someone who may have hypothermia or frostbite, gently warm them by
    wrapping them in a blanket and giving them warm drinks and high-energy foods. Call 911 if these signs are severe.
Duke Energy

Winter Weather: Forewarned Is Forearmed

Meteorologists are watching a cold front march across the Midwest today, and Duke Energy officials are keeping a close eye on the weather forecast for the next couple of days. While nobody is predicting frozen precipitation here, things could get a little dicey as blustery winds and single-digit lows combine to make for extreme winter conditions.

Duke District Manager Tanya Evans said Thursday that high winds early Friday could create issues in the area, and utility crews stand at the ready to restore power if outages occur.

National Weather Service meteorologist Jonathan Blaze said an Arctic cold front will blast through the area Friday morning and temps will plunge as the day goes on.

The combination of the arctic air mass and the strong winds will result in very cold wind chills across the region from Friday afternoon through Saturday morning.

As winter weather approaches, Duke Energy suggests that residents prepare in advance for outages.

“While there is never a good time to be without power, we recognize that the possibility of outages over the holidays is particularly worrisome for the customers and communities we serve,” said Jason Hollifield, Carolinas storm director. “Our crews are prepared and will work as quickly and safely as possible to restore power when outages occur.”

High winds and saturated ground may lead to downed trees, limbs and power lines. These winds can also impede Duke Energy workers’ ability to assess storm damage and restore power, and any outages that occur early Friday could linger into the evening as high wind gusts are forecast throughout the day.

Duke’s 24-hour hotline is 800.559.3853.

Below is a list of suggestions to consider before, during and after a storm:

Before the storm

·       Create (or update) an emergency supply kit to save valuable time later. The kit should include everything an individual or family would need for at least two weeks, especially medicines, water, nonperishable foods and other supplies that might be hard to find after a storm hits.

·       Keep a portable radio or TV or a NOAA weather radio on hand to monitor weather forecasts and important information from state and local officials.

·       Charge cellphones, computers and other electronic devices in advance of storms to stay connected to important safety and response information. Consider purchasing portable chargers and make sure they are fully charged as well.

·       Maintain a plan to move family members – especially those with special needs – to a safe, alternative location in case an extended power outage occurs, or evacuation is required.

·       Pet owners should arrange to stay at evacuation shelters that accept pets; friends’ or family members’ homes; or pet-friendly hotels.

After the storm

·       Stay away from power lines that have fallen or are sagging. Consider all lines energized, as well as trees, limbs or anything in contact with lines.

·       If a power line falls across a car that you are in, stay in the car. If you MUST get out of the car due to a fire or other immediate life-threatening situation, do your best to jump clear of the car and land on both feet. Be sure that no part of your body is touching the car when your feet touch the ground.

Outage reporting

After a storm hits, restoring power as safely and quickly as possible is our top priority, while keeping our customers informed.

·       Customers who experience an outage during a storm can report it the following ways:

·       Visit on a desktop computer or mobile device.

·       Use the Duke Energy mobile app – Download the Duke Energy App from a smartphone via Apple Store or Google Play.

·       Text OUT to 57801 (standard text and data charges may apply).

·       Call the automated outage-reporting system, at: 800.POWERON (800.769.3766).

·       Visit our interactive outage map to find up-to-date information on power outages, including the total number of outages systemwide and estimated times of restoration.

Understand how Duke Energy restores power

Our crews are ready to respond should outages occur. Learn more about the restoration process following damaging winds.

Diabetes: Living With, Preventing Disease

Diabetes is a chronic health condition that affects how your body turns food into energy and causes blood sugar levels to rise to abnormally high levels. As the seventh leading cause of death, diabetes is one of the most common – and dangerous – health issues in the U.S. In fact, more than 37 million Americans have diabetes, and one in five who do have it are unaware of their condition.

There are three main types of diabetes: Type 1, Type 2 and gestational diabetes. Cheryl Hester, a registered nurse at Maria Parham Health, said diabetes can be treated with medication and its risks reduced by making a few key lifestyle changes.

Children as young as 1 year old have been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, a result of the body stopping production of insulin altogether.

Insulin is a hormone that helps your body turn food into energy and manages your blood sugar. Symptoms for Type 1 typically develop early and intensely, and this type is primarily diagnosed in children, teens and young adults. Those with Type 1 take insulin regularly to compensate for their body’s inability to produce it.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common iteration of the disease and usually occurs when your body has difficulty maintaining normal blood sugar levels as a result of an inability to use insulin properly.

Generally speaking, risk factors including unhealthy weight, age and a family history of Type 2 diabetes can contribute to a person being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

Women with a history of gestational diabetes also are at a greater risk for a Type 2 diagnosis, as are people from higher-risk ethnic groups such as African-American, Hispanic/Latinx, American Indian and Alaska Native (some Pacific Islanders and Asian-Americans are also at higher risk).

Gestational diabetes occurs only in females and results when pregnancy-related body changes affect the ability to make sufficient inulin. It typically goes away after birth, but it can increase the mother’s and the child’s risk for Type 2 diabetes later in life.

A related condition is prediabetes. Prediabetes presents when blood sugar levels are high but not high enough to be diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. More than one in three American adults – around 96 million – have prediabetes, and more than 80 percent don’t know it. Diabetes can also lead to other, more serious health issues, like heart and kidney disease, vision loss and stroke. The good news is that Type 2 and gestational diabetes can be prevented. Eating healthy foods, engaging in regular physical activity and maintaining a healthy weight can help.

How do you know if you have diabetes? There are classic symptoms, including frequent urination, increased hunger and thirst, unintended weight loss, blurry vision, fatigue, abnormally dry skin, numb or tingling hands or feet, slow-healing sores and more infections than usual.

But you may not have any of the above-mentioned symptoms and still have diabetes. Your primary care provider can conduct a simple blood sugar test to determine whether you have diabetes or prediabetes. Being equipped with the knowledge of your status can empower you and your provider to work together on a treatment plan and lifestyle changes to improve and protect your health if needed.

For more information on diabetes, visit and

Need to make an appointment with a provider for a talk about diabetes and blood sugar testing? Call 800.424.DOCS or visit


Weekend Holiday Events To Add To The Calendar

Amid the holiday hustling and bustling, there are numerous opportunities to share fun – and free – activities with family and friends in the Henderson area between now and Christmas. The Henderson-Vance Chamber of Commerce has compiled a list of events and programs happening over the next week or so that can be a welcome respite from crowded shopping areas and stressful schedules.


Friday, Dec. 16 – through Christmas 

  • Stop by the lobby between McGregor Hall and Perry Memorial Library to see the Christmas tree display, decorated by downtown businesses for the community to enjoy.
  • Find the photo backdrops and booths around downtown Henderson to snap a fun family photo – or selfie! – to create a new holiday memory.


Saturday, Dec. 17

  • 2 p.m. – informational meeting of the teen entrepreneur club. Register at or call Wykia Macon at 252.438.8188.
  • 7:30 p.m. – Get an infusion of the holiday spirit at a free concert by Northeast Piedmont Chorale, McGregor Hall.
  • Concerts not your thing? Then head down to Movie Night@Sadie’s. $15 gets you a spaghetti dinner, popcorn, drinks and the movies “Nightmare Before Christmas” and “Bad Santa.” RSVP to 252.572.2542.


WIZS Local, Live Election Coverage

Tune in to WIZS radio Tuesday evening for a local perspective on tomorrow’s mid-term election results.

Brandon Boyd joins John C. Rose live on the air through the evening, commenting on state and national races, overall voter turnout and trends – all while keeping a keen eye on local races that affect Vance County and the WIZS listening area.

Candidates in some local races are running unopposed, but several other races will be decided following Tuesday’s vote.

Incumbent Curtis Brame and challenger Patrick Bailey are vying for the job of Vance County Sheriff. There’s also a close race for sheriff in Granville County, which has three challengers vying for the job.

In the race for N.C. House District 32, incumbent Terry Garrison is being challenged by political newcomer Frank Sossamon.

Mark Speed and Lisa Barnes are running for the N.C. Senate to represent District 11, which includes Henderson and Vance County.

But there are other state races that have significance locally, including district court judgeships, court of appeals races and battles for seats on the state Supreme Court.

Carolyn Thompson and Julee Flood face each other in a race for district court seat 8, and Don Davis and Sandy Smith are each hopeful to take the U.S. House District 1 election.

Boyd said he hopes others enjoy hearing and seeing tomorrow’s election results as much as he does.

“It’s going to be so much fun watching this thing play out from coast to coast,” he said.

As polls close in the East and then later through the evening on the West Coast, Boyd said he is interested in watching national races here in North Carolina with the Cheri Beasley-TeddBudd matchup for U.S. Senate – but also named Pennsylvania, Georgia, Nevada and Arizona as key states to watch.