Vance County Logo

Tax Revaluation Info Session Monday, May 20

Vance County will hold a tax revaluation information session Monday, May 20.

The session starts at 4 p.m. and will be held in the Vance County Administration Building (the old courthouse building).

On a flyer the County has indicated that it has answers to questions about the revaluation.

The Local Skinny! Making Things Happen Downtown

The Henderson City Council Monday approved a tax incentive program to encourage downtown business owners to make improvements to the overall appearance of downtown without adding to their tax bill.

Downtown Development Coordinator Tracy Madigan explained on Tuesday’s segment of The Local Skinny! that the tax incentives would occur over a five-year period. The idea is pretty simple: when a business owner makes improvements to a building’s interior or exterior,  the presumption that the property value – and associated tax – would also increase.

Through the tax incentive program,  Madigan said the additional tax amount would be waived 100 percent. In Year 2, the percent would drop to 80 percent, and continue at that rate until Year 5, when the tax due would be 20 percent of the higher tax bill.

There are programs in place to help downtown businesses with items like new awnings and signs, she said, but the tax incentive plan provides “a little more meat” to support existing businesses and to encourage new businesses to come downtown.

“This has a lot of teeth to incentivize (downtown business owners) and make improvements downtown,” Madigan said. It’s just one of the things in the proverbial pipeline that she said would motivate improvements in the overall appearance of the downtown area.

Madigan said recent changes made by the City Council to create a separate board to oversee the city’s participation in the NC Main Street program is just one way to strengthen downtown revitalization efforts. The newly created board can focus specifically on the Main Street Program. Previously, the Henderson-Vance Downtown Development Commission board had served in this capacity, and Madigan said creating a new board to focus on the Main Street program will free up the HVDC board to implement additional strategies to support downtown revitalization.

“It’s a way to improve downtown from two different directions – and get more done,” she said.



Granville Vance Public Health Logo

The Local Skinny: Granville Vance Public Health Receives Recognition

The Care Management High Risk Pregnancy Program at Granville Vance Public Health has received the “Friend of WIC” award by the NC Dept. of Health and Human Community Nutrition Service section for its commitment to providing quality services and advocating for its participants.

The award follows the nomination of GVPH Care Manager and social worker, Phylicia Evans, for the Institute for Family’s 2024 Family Champion Award, according to information from GVPH.  Evans was recognized for her work as a social worker in North Carolina who goes the extra mile to support her community and to connect countless families in the community to essential services and resources.

The Friend of WIC award recognizes continued collaboration and outstanding support of the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program. Selection is based on demonstration of commitment to improving WIC Program services and continual advocacy for program services  and participants.

Kristy Walker, Pregnancy Care Management Supervisor, accepted the award on behalf of Granville Vance Public Health (GVPH). “The ongoing collaboration between the Care Management High Risk Pregnancy Program (CMHRP) Program and the WIC Program reflects a shared commitment to advocating for the well-being of participants,” Walker stated. “Through regular reporting, communication channels, and coordinated efforts, both programs work together to  enhance service delivery and participant satisfaction.”

The CMHRP Program at GVPH has established several proactive initiatives to ensure that all patients have access to improved WIC Program services, including streamlining the enrollment process to increase WIC Program participation. GVPH staff also leverage Medicaid eligibility with WIC benefits to provide additional nutritional support and use technology to identify participants who may need additional assistance from care managers.

The CMHRP Program also promotes WIC Program services by facilitating direct communication during office visits or remote interactions to provide comprehensive support and guidance regarding WIC benefits. Program staff advocate for a holistic care approach that addresses participants’ nutritional needs alongside their high-risk pregnancy management.

Lauren Faulkner, GVPH WIC director, said she is “thrilled” that CMHRP Program has been recognized for the honor. “It’s a reminder of the impact we can make and motivates us to keep improving and evolving our services for the community.”

For more information on GVPH maternal health programs, please go to our website:



Schools Provide Support To Students Facing First Weekend At Emergency Shelter

The 70 or so children who have spent this week with their families and others at a local shelter face their first weekend away from the place they once called home.

The situation is certainly not ideal, but Vance County Schools Superintendent Dr. Cindy Bennett told WIZS News earlier Friday that district staff has put together some activities for the children to help get through the next couple of days when they’re not in school and things are far from “normal.”

“For the weekend, we are providing totes with art supplies, reading materials, board games and indoor/outdoor physical education items,” Bennett said.

On Monday, about 40 families moved to a shelter that was set up in the gym on the former campus of Eaton Johnson Middle School.
They had been extended-stay residents at a hotel located on Parham Road – some for longer than a year.

Earlier this week, Henderson Mayor Melissa Elliott said she was encouraged to see the community support as churches, schools and city and county leaders have rallied to create a caring network for the families who had to move to the shelter.

Henderson City Manager Terrell Blackmon said the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services is in charge of the shelter, with the cooperation of Vance County. The city’s role is limited and one of support to NCDHSS and other agencies in charge, Blackmon explained. “Our role at this point is to be an advocate for the families and to ensure that the motel remains closed for occupancy until the owners mitigate the violations at the property and bring it into compliance with the state building code.”

The city issued a zoning violation in addition to various fire code violations, Blackmon said, the majority of which are related to the state building code, which falls under the county inspections department.

The circumstances have been challenging, to be sure, but Bennett said that the district has worked to provide food, transportation and more to the children who attend Vance County Schools and their families.

“All of the VCS students who are staying in the shelter are still attending school- we have rerouted our buses to ensure they are picked up and delivered back to the shelter each day,” Bennett said in an email.

Members of the district’s Students Services team members are helping the shelter to get the children off to school in the morning and to greet them up on their return in the afternoon, she said.

The Student Behavioral Health Team is working with parents to identify new clothing that has been donated for the children, and breakfast and lunch are provided at no charge each day.

“Students who are displaced are identified as McKinney-Vento and additional resources are being added when needed.  The district has also had a social worker, nurse and counselor at the shelter each day this week to support the families and help connect them with community resources,” Bennett explained.

“We are there to support in any way we can,” Blackmon said of the city’s response to the situation. But, he added, “the services currently most needed by these families at the shelter are provided by the state, county and local nonprofit agencies.”


Home And Garden Show

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

  • Beekeepers May meeting
  • Soil Samples
  • Cicadas
  • Squashbugs
  • Fruit Trees

Click Play!


Perry Memorial Library

The Local Skinny! Events At Perry Library

Make plans now to take part in the Summer Reading Program kickoff at Perry Memorial Library – summer sounds far away, but it’ll be here before you know it! And Melody Peters and others at the library are ready to help readers young and not-so young find time to dive into a good book.

The reading program, “Adventure Begins at Your Library,” kicks off Tuesday, June 18 from 4 to 6pm. and there’s something for all ages, Peters said on Tuesday’s The Local Skinny!

There will be reading logs available to help readers keep track and earn badges and prizes for different levels of achievement throughout the summer, Peters said. But it’s not just for how many pages you can read, she added. “’We’ve gotten really creative…to keep everyone engaged over the summer and avoid the Summer Slide.”

Added bonus to the kickoff event: The first 200 people to show up get a Pelican Snoball free!

If recent program successes are any indication, the summer program will be another one “for the books” – pun intended.

The most popular program from last year involved some visitors from the Vance County Animal Shelter and Peters said she’s happy to report that some furry friends will return to the library on Tuesday, June 25 for a special program.

In advance of this visit, the library has placed a donation bin to collect items for the shelter animals. Food, toys, bedding, kitty litter – whatever you’d like to bring, the shelter will appreciate, Peters said. “We hope we can hand them what we’ve collected that day,” she said.

Another successful event was the tea party and book sale, which  drew 60 people to the library – on a Sunday, Peters said. “Everybody was blown away,” she said. The Friends of the Library sold some books, too. Peters said she plans to make this an annual event, thanks to the positive response.

She’s heard from some library patrons that sometimes it’s just too tough to get to programs during the week, so the library is going to roll out a Family Story Time in the summer for those families who go in many different directions in the course of a normal weekday.

She’s planning to have one in June and one in July on a Sunday at 3:30 p.m. – that way, it will be after church and lunch and before dinner and getting ready for the work week again.

“We’re trying it out and we’ll see how it goes,” Peters said.

Visit to learn about the different programs and activities offered at the library.



Henderson Collegiate: “Let It Shine” Talent Showcase 2024

For this news segment on WIZS Radio, Henderson on this Friday, May 3, 2024, I wanted to offer you a special first person account of an event I attended last night at Henderson Collegiate. Students arranged and organized and performed the “Let It Shine Talent Show.” The “Let It Shine Talent Show” on Thursday evening at Henderson Collegiate started with a red carpet event at 5:25 and was followed up with a live show from 6 until around 8:30.

Jayden Watkins, a familiar name now in the community as a teenaged minister and preacher, is a student at Henderson Collegiate and the visionary of the show. One of the main purposes of the event was to commemorate deceased alumni with a “Deceased Alumni Tribute.”

Performers, along with the school’s principal, Mr. Taro Shigenobu, spoke about and also used the performing arts to remember: Kasi Thompson, Pride of 2019; Jacob Harris, Pride of 2019; Elijah Brown, Pride of 2019; Jaiah Kearney, Pride of 2021; Caleb Perry, Pride of 2021; Zakera Kearney, Pride of 2024; and Jerry Tavera, who would have graduated with the Pride of 2025.

Family members were in attendance at the performance.

After I had left the school our Jayden Watkins, who is on staff here at WIZS, texted me and said, “Thank you for coming and showing love to all the young people. They truly enjoyed you.” I responded to Jayden and said, “What I saw was amazing. No matter what, everybody in that room had everybody else. There was great talent and love and no judgment. I decided to stay a while and then I couldn’t leave.” And, of course, I said, “You’re welcome.  It was my pleasure. Thank you (and thank you to your school) for showing me something.

Watkins himself was able as a preacher to do something that most preachers can’t do. He offered a three-point sermon in just three minutes as he reflected about what is on the inside of a person. “Let it shine,” he said. “Look in the mirror … Know who you are.” Watkins said, “Shine to divine … Shine while it’s time.”

As Principal Shigenobu closed out the special evening, he noted that Henderson Collegiate is not just about grades and numbers and pointed to the multitalented individuals in attendance as well as those who had supported the performers on the stage.

From my perspective in local media and someone who was able to attend the performance: Great job young women and men. Great job, school. Great job young leaders. Your community is proud of you. And hopefully by having events like this, your community will continue to learn more about your special school and the wonderful people in attendance.

And as far as the program order was concerned, the ECHO Drumline – Pride of Sound performed as did Dakyra “D.K.” Johnson.  Johnson sang as did Keionne Sanford, D’Angelo, Indya Hamrick, Faith Wimbush, Kameron Bullock.  Chelicia Walters offered a testimonial “God is Love.”  Ms. Chloe Jones performed.  Aresia Barrett sang as did Alijah Wright, and Brandon Dukes, Imya “Tae Tae” Bullock and Mekhi Fowlkes offered a musical instrumental. The “Sweethearts” danced.  Dakota Miller sang. Mr. Dedrick Dunton, who they call “Dr. Dunton,” offered a testimonial and sang.  Amirah “MIMI” Weaver sang as did Ju’Tieya Watkins.

Everyone in attendance seemed to have a special time.

My thanks for the invitation and for the opportunity to be on the red carpet and to experience a wonderful evening. This is WIZS Radio Henderson, John Charles Rose reporting.


The Local Skinny! Pop the Hood: Spring Cleaning Your Car

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

Getting a little spring cleaning done may be on people’s minds, now that the pollen has done its thing and the weather’s warming up.

But spring cleaning shouldn’t be limited to homes and businesses – what about your vehicles?

We make lists to take care of seasonal household chores like washing the windows and cleaning out the gutters, but cars and trucks would benefit from having seasonal checklists, too.

The professionals at Advance Auto Parts can help you choose the right products to keep your vehicle looking great and running great this spring and all year long.

Some maintenance and spring cleaning tasks are recommended based on time, others on the number of miles you’ve driven, and some are simply preventative measures to keep your vehicle in good repair.

The “check” lights on dashboards of many newer models remind us when it’s time to change the oil or check tire pressure – they may be annoying to see, but they shouldn’t be ignored.

There’s not a “check” light for things like belts, battery terminals and spark plugs, so a quick look under the hood can help you spot little problems before they become big problems that could leave you stranded along the roadside.

Spark plugs may need to be replaced every few years, especially if you put 30,000 or more miles a year on your vehicle. Timing belts should last for 50,000 miles or so, but all hoses and belts should be checked periodically for wear.

If you use a mechanic for tire rotations and oil changes, they should be checking things like tire pressure and uneven wear, as well as air filters and cabin filters.

DIY’ers need to keep those things in mind as well – a cabin air filter helps keep dirt and irritants out of the interior of your vehicle.

Speaking of interiors, when’s the last time you cleaned the inside of the windshield? That filmy buildup can be easily removed. While you’re at it, go ahead and give the seats and floorboards a deep clean.

If vehicles are, indeed, a reflection of the owners who drive them, then some of us may need to tackle a spring cleaning project or two before we head down the road.

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.



Home And Garden Show

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

  • Cleanup perennial flower beds. Cut back plants, pull weeds and refresh mulch
  • Finish up your pruning chores. Fruit trees,blueberries,grape vines, broadleaf evergreens and ornamental trees.
  • Increase pollination of your garden by purchasing Honey bees or contacting a beekeeper to place a hive on your property
  • Keep your garden notebook up to date
  • Check vegetable seedlings that you are growing indoors daily, light,soil moisture
  • Plan your spring garden on paper before planting your garden
  • Check all Garden equipment have it ready when needed

 Click Play!