The Local Skinny! American Legion To Host Memorial Day Service

It’s a sobering sight to see those white crosses that dot the grassy area outside American Legion Post 60 in Henderson. Whether you just drive by over the Memorial Day weekend holiday or attend the annual service at Post 60 on Monday at 10 a.m.

Post Commander Ted Grissom wants people to remember why those crosses – numbering more than 150 – matter.

Each cross represents someone from Vance County who has died while serving in the Armed Forces, from World War I to the present, Grissom told WIZS’s Bill Harris on Thursday’s segment of The Local Skinny!

The ceremony will be brief, he said, but the main reason to gather will be “to honor our heroes remember their achievements and service, and to thank them” for their ultimate sacrifice to their country.

“Many didn’t volunteer,” he said, but were called to be part of something bigger than themselves – they were ordinary people who responded in extraordinary ways” to protect and defend this country, our freedom and way of life.

“Our gathering in Henderson is just one small spark in the flame of pride that burns across the nation on Memorial day and every day,” Grissom said.



Home And Garden Show

On the Home and Garden Show with Vance Co. Cooperative Ext.

  • Scout your garden at least twice a week for insects and disease
  • Be cautious with weed killers that provide several months of control. They can damage trees and shrubs through root uptake. Check the instructions and stay the recommended distance away.
  • Keep up with your weeding. Small weeds are much easier to control.
  • Harvest herbs frequently.
  • Attention: Beekeepers You may want to construct electric fence to protect hives from Bears
  • For cut flowers, harvest early in the day, keep cool, place in water ASAP, select newest fully expanded blossoms.
  • Honey bees are still swarming if you see a swarm call Cooperative extension 252-438-8188
  • Protect yourself from ticks and mosquitos.
  • Keep your garden journal updated. You are getting busier each day in the garden and you need to record what you have done in the garden each day.

Click Play!


Perry Memorial Library

The Local Skinny! Reading And Tennis Come Together At Perry Memorial Library

Perry Memorial Library is bringing tennis back to the gallery for a fun-filled event that gets kids learning about the sport through reading and exercise.

Melody Peters, the library’s youth services director, said a crew from Edmonds Tennis and Education Foundation is taking a second swing at a workshop designed for young people ages 5-18. They aced last year’s event, and Peters said they’ll be back this year to serve up some more fun.

The Tennis Book Read takes place on May 31 from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

And, not to worry, there will be tennis racquets in the gallery, she said.

“They tell me they have it all under control,” Peters said, reassuringly.

ETEF volunteers will be on hand to work with the young people to learn the basics of tennis.

The Edmonds family established the nonprofit youth development organization in 2018 and uses the game of tennis to provide academic and athletic opportunities to underserved youth.

Visit to learn more or email Peters at



The Local Skinny! Keeping Pets Fit And Trim

When it comes to caring for our pets, local veterinarian Dr. Aleksandar Besermenji says the simplest solution is often the best solution when it comes to reducing obesity – portion control and exercise are key components in maintaining dog and cat health.

“We do see a lot of animals with issues of extra weight,” Besermenji said on Tuesday’s recurring Pet and People segment of The Local Skinny! Besermenji practices at Franklinton Animal Hospital on U.S. 1 in Franklinton.

Just like in humans, it’s not good for dogs and cats to have an “unhealthy accumulation of body fat,” Besermenji said. And just like in humans, dogs and cats that consume more calories than they expend in energy end up with fat reserves in their bodies.

The key is prevention, he noted. “Feed them what the (label) says and nothing more.”

Granted, that’s easier said than done, but if pet owners don’t oversee what their pets are eating, it opens the door for problems – especially insulin resistance and diabetes in cats and joint and bone problems for dogs.

Exercise is as important as diet when it comes to maintaining healthy weights. As pets age, however, they may be less energetic. And that may be a time to revisit the type and amount of food they eat.

A little bit of canned food is ok – on occasion – but it’s not a good idea to feed only canned food. “When they crunch on those kibbles, it helps to scrape the tartar off” teeth, Besermenji said, emphasizing the importance of dry food in a pet’s diet.

Franklinton Animal Hospital is open Monday – Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. to 12 noon. Call 919.341.1055 to learn more.




The Local Skinny! Maria Parham Health Remembers Lives Lost In Service To Country

-Information courtesy of Donna Young, MPH Marketing & Communication Coordinator 

Maria Parham Health invites the public to its third annual Memorial Day Service on Thursday, May 25, 2023. This year’s theme is “Reflection and Celebration.” The service will begin at 10 a.m. by the flagpoles in front of the hospital, where attendees will remember and honor those who have died in the performance of their military duties while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Maria Parham’s keynote speaker this year will be Hartwell Wright, Vietnam veteran and recent recipient of the Order of the Long Leaf Pine. The Order of the Long Leaf Pine is among the most prestigious awards conferred by the Governor of North Carolina. It is awarded for exemplary service to the State of North Carolina that is above and beyond the call of duty that has made a significant impact and strengthened North Carolina communities. Hartwell Wright received the award in February 2022.

The Maria Parham Memorial Day Service will include prayers from Harriett Baptist Church Pastor Will Breedlove, as well as special music, the hanging of a memorial wreath and the reading of names In Memoriam.

In the event of inclement weather, the ceremony will be held in the auditorium.



Pop The Hood: Maintaining Your Car’s Cooling System

— For our sponsor, Advance Auto Parts, as part of a paid radio sponsorship on WIZS.

Nobody wants to get stuck on the side of the road with an overheated engine. With just a little maintenance – and an abundance of caution – vehicle owners can make sure all is well under the hood.

Michael Puckett, with Advance Auto Parts on Raleigh Road, can walk customers through the process of checking to make sure radiators and cooling systems have the proper antifreeze and coolant to keep drivers on the road and out of the shop.

It’s safety first, Puckett said on Thursday’s Pop the Hood segment on WIZS Radio. Safety goggles and protective clothing – including gloves – are important when dealing with antifreeze or coolant.

Antifreeze can be dangerous to people and to animals, so DIY’ers should always store and dispose of it properly. It’s important to remember to disconnect the battery and make sure the engine is cold, whether you’re simply topping off fluids or doing a system flush.

The staff at Advance Auto Parts can help you get just the right product for your make and model vehicle, as well as provide you with the manufacturer’s specifications.

“There’s a bunch of different colors of antifreeze,” Puckett said. “You always want to make sure you’re doing it per OEM (original equipment manufacturer) specs.” The wrong type of antifreeze could affect engine performance.

Advance Auto also offers online purchase for its products for quick and easy pickup in as few as 30 minutes.

“Call the store and we can help you with anything you have questions about” when placing an online order, he said. Visit to learn more.

Call the Raleigh Road store at 252.438.2049 and the Prosperity Road location, just off Dabney Drive, at 252.438.4183.

The information contained in this post is not advice from Advance Auto Parts or WIZS.  Safety First!  Always seek proper help.  This is presented for its informational value only and is part of a paid advertising sponsorship.

CLICK PLAY to hear Pop The Hood: Maintaining Your Car’s Cooling System from May 18, 2023!


TownTalk: Duke RAM Clinic Is This Weekend

The upcoming weekend pop-up medical clinic is as unconventional as its name implies – prospective patients will gather in a school parking lot, get a ticket to assure their place in line to receive free dental, medical and vision care. None of that sounds like the way we traditionally go about getting medical care.

And what medical facility or doctor’s office gives its clients a parting gift of a box of fresh, healthy foods?

The Duke Remote Area Medical clinic is hanging its shingle for two days only on the campus of Vance Charter School.

Organizers Anvi Charvu, Saajan Patel and John Bochman joined TownTalk Monday to discuss details of the clinic, which will be held Saturday, May 20 and Sunday, May 21.

This is the second year that a team of volunteer doctors and dentists have set up in Henderson to provide care to those who may need medical attention. Last year’s event served about 150 patients, but this year, Charvu said, the goal is between 250 and 300.

It’s a simple concept, really, and patients may begin lining up in the school parking lot just before midnight – 11:59 p.m. on Friday, May 19. The clinics begin each day at 6 a.m.

Patients don’t need to provide ID or proof of insurance – if you need a tooth pulled or filled, it can be done right then. Eye exam? There are eye doctors set up to provide exams, and a lab will be on site to crank out prescription glasses to those who need them.

Bochman, who plans to attend med school at Duke, currently works with the Vance County EMS. He said he’s seen firsthand some of the needs of the community and is proud to be a part of the Duke RAM clinic again this year.

“It’s so nice that we can come in…and take care of their eye care and dental pain for an entire year,” Bochman said.

Those interested in getting medical care should consider coming early – by Saturday morning, the clinic was having to turn people away. Organizers were able to add providers to this year’s event, which should help, Charvu said.

“We’re going to try our best,” she said, to serve as many clients as possible. But waiting in the city’s largest waiting area overnight – the Vance Charter School parking lot – is the “only way to guarantee care, since there is such demand.

A free, once-a-year-clinic is a great way to help individuals access much-needed care, but the organizers understand that there needs to be more.

There will be representatives from N.C. Legal Aid on site at the weekend clinic, as well as others to help clients navigate the insurance enrollment process and obtain access to other resources as well.

“We would love to provide extra structure and strength for a more long-term solution,” Charvu said.




Home And Garden Show

On the Home and Garden Show with Vance Co. Cooperative Ext.

  • Scout your garden at least twice a week for insects and disease
  • When it comes to irrigation, don’t follow a schedule. Timing should be based on soil moisture, temperature, plant performance, etc.
  • Keep up with your weeding. Small weeds are much easier to control.
  • Shape up azaleas now that they are done blooming.
  • Attention: Beekeepers You may want to construct electric fence to protect hives from Bears
  • If you’d like to help pollinators, take note through the summer when there is a shortage of blooming plants in your landscape. Make plans to fill those gaps by adding plants that bloom in those gap times.
  • Honey bees are still swarming if you see a swarm call Cooperative extension 252-438-8188
  • Succession planting

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The Local Skinny! Local Author Katherine Burnette Publishes Poems And Short Story

Local author and N.C. Superior Court Judge the Hon. Katherine Burnette is busy working on her second book, which she estimates is about two-thirds completed.

The process of writing an entire work of fiction can be a slow one, Burnette acknowledged. So when she needs a break from writing books, she writes poetry and short stories.

Several of her poems have appeared in Deep South, an online publication that features Southern writers.

Her poem The Martins, describes the movements of that insect-gobbling bird. The setting is near the ocean’s shore, and Burnette intentionally indented the lines of her poem to mimic the waves that lap the sandy coastline.

“I find them fascinating,” Burnette said of the martin. They’re very active at dusk, picking insects out of the sky. “Just the way they fly – they have a unique flight pattern,” she added.

Other poems that appear in Deep South include The Edge of the Pool and Gray Tabby.

Visit to read the poems and to find her short story, Cast of Characters.

Burnette spoke with WIZS’s Bill Harris on Tuesday’s segment of The Local Skinny! to discuss her latest literary efforts.

Her first novel, Judge’s Waltz, was published in July 2021, and it has garnered a couple of awards – one for debut novel and one in the category of Mystery, she noted.

Her second work will be a thriller, not a mystery, she explained.

“If you only have one murder in your book, you can’t call it a thriller,” she said, chuckling. The new novel will be set in Henderson and nearby Oxford, where Burnette lives and will include a new set of characters, although readers of Judge’s Waltz will recognize some characters that make an appearance in the new book.

She uses her experience as a judge to help her when she writes courtroom or investigation scenes, she said. Writing is a way “to relieve stress and to think about something else” after a long day in judge’s robes.

Burnette’s book Judge’s Waltz is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble online, as well as the brick and mortar Barnes & Noble in The Village District (formerly Cameron Village) in Raleigh and locally at This ‘n’ That on Main Street in Oxford.





Vance County Logo

The Local Skinny! Vance Co. Budget Details

Vance County Commissioners have held a couple of work sessions to discuss the proposed 2023-24 budget and the community will have a chance to chime in during an upcoming June 5 public hearing before commissioners decide whether to adopt it.

The details of the roughly $57.5 million budget are contained in a 131-page document presented by County Manager Jordan McMillen. This is McMillan’s final budget presentation before he leaves his position later this month to become Butner Town Manager in neighboring Granville County.

The budget calls for no increase in the property tax, holding at 89 cents per $100 valuation, as well as appropriating more than $1.5 million from the General Fund to plug a gap between expected expenses and expected revenues. The proposed budget is 4.5 percent more than the 2022-23 budget.

Among the budget highlights are improvements to the county’s fire tax fund, which will provide 24-hour coverage in the north and south of the county – all with no tax increase.

On the revenue side, property tax is up some $63 million, which translates into more than $600,000 in additional tax revenue for the county.

Sales tax continues to be the big leader, with expected revenues projected at close to $2 million more than last year. Sales tax is the second largest source of revenue for the county at 21 percent.

Among the budget’s line items are funding for broadband expansion and the economic development strategic plan, as well as preparing for ongoing and increased costs in the areas of community health, education and workforce development training, to name a few.

In all, the county received requests for $7.4 million more than it was able to provide. If all those funding requests were to be granted, it would mean a 25.9 cent tax increase to county residents.