Tyquaveon Williams, 20, of Abbott Road Arrested on Drug-Related Charges

VCSO Press Release Information —

On Dec. 28, 2022 the Vance County Sheriff’s Office executed a traffic stop in the Gillburg Community.

Upon initial approach and contact with the driver, the detective was confronted with circumstances which led to probable cause to search the vehicle and its occupant.

The driver was identified as Tyquaveon Williams, 20, of Abbott Road. Williams was operating a white in color, 2016 Honda Accord four door at the time of the encounter and was driving with a suspended license.

Additional units with the Vance County Sheriff’s Office arrived on the scene to assist. A search of the vehicle was conducted revealing in excess of seven bricks of heroin, over 350 dosage units, a small amount of marijuana, brass knuckles and cash. Williams was taken into custody and transported to the Sheriff’s Office.

As a result of the traffic stop, Williams was charged with two (2) counts of trafficking heroin, felony maintaining a vehicle, carry a concealed weapon and simple possession of marijuana.

Tyquaveon Williams posted a $75,000 bond and was released from custody.



KARTS In Line For Grant Money To Help Expand, Improve Services

The Kerr Area Regional Transit system is scheduled to get part of more than $10 million in federal grant money that is being awarded across the state to help expand on-demand services for those who need help with transportation.

State transportation officials say the federal grant award –  $10.4 million in total – will be used in up to 11 communities across the state and has the potential to benefit thousands of individuals.

“More than one million people in North Carolina live in a household without a car or have other barriers limiting their access to reliable transportation,” said Ryan Brumfield, director of the Division of Integrated Mobility, a unit in the N.C. Department of Transportation. “By expanding on-demand transit services, we take an important step to remove barriers for these individuals. Having a more robust network of multimodal services will connect people to the jobs, educational opportunities, appointments and shopping they need for their daily lives.”

KARTS operates in Vance, Granville, Warren and Franklin counties. Call to make a trip requests Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

KARTS vehicles also transport passengers to major medical facilities nearby, including Wake Forest, Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill during the week. Service requests for the following day are taken until 1 p.m. or as capacity allows.

Passengers can arrange to use the rural, public transportation service to go shopping, to get to work, keep medical appointments and more. Visit http://www.kartsnc.com/ to learn more or phone 252.438.2573.

The award comes to the N.C. Department of Transportation’s Integrated Mobility Division from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Rural Surface Transportation Grant, which is part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

In addition to KARTs, Tar River Transit and Wave Transit in Wilmington also will get a cut of the money. Money will be distributed to similar type services in Alamance, McDowell, Johnston, Randolph and Rockingham counties, as well as in the towns of Sanford, Salisbury and Wilson.

The funding will pay for advanced transit scheduling software deployment and, in some communities, third-party contracts for vehicles and drivers to support the new on-demand services.

The Integrated Mobility Division applied for the funds to expand on-demand transit, in part, because of the success of prior on-demand transit deployments in North Carolina, including the Wilson RIDE service. That service has garnered national attention for its success and positive impacts.



Home And Garden Show

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

  • Check garden hand tools clean, sharpen, sand handles, apply linseed oil to protect from rust
  • Download a copy of the Central NC Vegetable Planting Calendar so you can stay on schedule through the upcoming growing season.
  • Order vegetable seed asap some varieties have already sold out.
  • Continue to monitor soil moisture of anything you planted this fall (turf, trees, shrubs, pansies, etc.)
  • Spread aged compost on your garden
  • Learn more about exotic invasive plants and insects such as spotted lanternfly and do your part to prevent their spread.
  • Have pictures of garden equipment with serial numbers for insurance purposes. Ex Fire or theft.
  • Plan a visit to the State Farmers Market in Raleigh.
  • Construct a small greenhouse to be able to grow plants next year.
  • Make your 2023 gardening resolutions.



The Local Skinny! City Council Renames Street For Eddie Hicks

It won’t quite be the same as having him there in person, but Melissa Elliott says she’ll be glad when she can look out her window at Gang Free, Inc. and see the street sign that proclaims the street nearby as “Eddie James Hicks Street.”

The Henderson City Council voted to rename E. Winder Street for the local hero who died in October.

Elliott’s Gang Free, Inc.’s location is in the community known as Flint Hill, where Hicks grew up.

“He had many ties to Winder Street and the surrounding area,” Elliott said on Thursday’s segment of The Local Skinny!

Newly elected council member Lamont Noel presented the request to the council, along with signatures on a neighborhood petition, and the matter easily was approved.

“Eddie’s heartbeat is in Flint Hill,” Elliott said. “It was an honor to be able to put this on the calendar so fast and to get it passed.”

Henderson Mayor Eddie Ellington told WIZS News that the street name change will “honor the memory of one of (our) own who had many ties as a young man to Winder Street and the surrounding area. We remember that legends never die, they live on in our hearts forever

Eddie did so many things in this community, and the word “no” was not in his vocabulary when it came to requests for assistance from others.

“He would always help out,” Elliott said, from taking food to a senior adult to coaching a child, to waiting while Elliott finished up work for the day – which often turned into evening.

“He would not leave me at the building by myself,” she recalled.

Gang Free, Inc. is having a celebration gala Thursday evening, and Hicks’s widow, Jackie, is scheduled to attend.

“I’m excited about honoring Eddie – he will be with us tonight in spirit. He celebrated life and I’m just grateful to have known Eddie…he just wanted to make his community better.”

And while a street sign can’t take his place, Elliott said reading Eddie James Hicks Street will motivate her to keep Hicks’s memory alive by trying to make the community better.




The Local Skinny! Gang Free Inc. Year In Review

In the nonprofit world, so much emphasis is placed on the good that organizations do throughout the year. And that certainly is the case for Gang Free, Inc.

From the thousands and thousands of pounds of food that have been distributed to more than 34,000 people in need, founder and president Melissa Elliott is not short on praise for what the volunteers and so many community agencies have done to help the community in 2022.

But sometimes, you just need to stop for a second and celebrate successes, large and small.

That’s just what Elliott and others plan to do Thursday evening during the second annual gala event – celebrate accomplishments.

“It has been a very challenging year, trying to find our normalcy,” Elliott told John C. Rose on Thursday’s The Local Skinny! “We never stopped throughout the pandemic, (so) it’s time to wind down and celebrate accomplishments.”

The nonprofit world also is keen on quantifying efforts, and Elliott said she is pleased to see the numbers of those that Gang Free, Inc. has “effectively impacted -it’s quite overwhelming and I’m totally grateful to God,” she said.

Among those expected to attend the gala are elected officials – Elliott herself is a Henderson City Council member – as well as volunteers, community health workers and representatives of various community-based agencies that Gang Free partners with.

“We did things that had never been done before,” she said, referring to various minority-run entities that connected with Gang Free to provide services ranging from COVID-19 vaccine education to establishing a food pantry in collaboration with Vance County Schools.

Then there are the 267 toys given out to children in kindergarten-fifth grade, assistance to 165 families experiencing homelessness and fighting food insecurity throughout the area.

Elliott is quick to point out that Gang Free does not do this in isolation; rather, she praised the community for working together.

“We share and we do this work together – that’s what makes us such a wonderful community,” she said. “There is great connection in our community.” Working together relieves one agency of the whole responsibility to provide for those in need, she added.

Nonprofit leaders like Elliott may take a moment to reflect on the year’s work, but that moment is fleeting and, next thing you know, plans for the new year are taking shape.

There are plans for a new transitional housing and remodeling the homeless shelter, just to name a couple of projects for 2023.

Elliott and her volunteers have plenty of work to do, but tonight, they’re going to revel in what got done in 2022.

“I’ve seen God work miracles this whole year and I look forward to more,” she said.

Want to help? Phone 252.598.0067 or learn more  www.gangfreeinc.org.




Home And Garden Show

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

  • Check local nurseries and garden centers for gifts for Gardeners.
  • Shop for garden tools with improved ergonomics. Thicker handles, extended handles, less force required, etc.
  • Inventory your seed supply. Order newly released varieties now before they sell out
  • Consider getting a copy of the NC Extension Gardener Handbook for a gardener on your gift giving list.
  • Check moisture of holiday plants, especially Christmas trees
  • Yes, you can scatter wood ashes in your garden, but use them judiciously. They have liming properties, and you don’t want to over do it.
  • Review your garden journal about what was successful and even what didn’t do well so you can plan for next year.
  • Visit Public Gardens through the winter. You may be surprised at what you find in bloom.
  • Construct a cold frame to be able to grow your own seedlings for 2023
  • Monitor indoor plants through the winter for insect pests such as aphids, white flies and mealybugs. These are easily treated with insecticidal soap.

Click Play!



Murder Charge Added For Father Of Child Who Died Dec. 3

The father of a 6-year-old who died earlier this month has been charged with second-degree murder in connection with the shooting death of his son.

Vance County Sheriff Curtis Brame issued a press statement Tuesday, in which he said Eric Eugene Allen Powe, 31, was charged with murder on Dec. 8. Rowe surrendered himself to authorities on Dec. 9, Brame stated. He is being held in the Vance County jail under a $200,000 secured bond.

The incident occurred on the afternoon of Dec. 3. Members of the sheriff’s office were dispatched to 67 Hoyle Lane in Henderson after receiving a call about a gunshot victim.

The boy was transported to Maria Parham Hospital, where he was ultimately pronounced dead from a gunshot wound.

The Vance County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Unit, with the assistance of the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, responded to the scene to conduct an investigation into the incident.

Rowe originally had been arrested on a felony child abuse charge, but murder charges were brought against him as the sheriff’s office and the SBI continued their investigation.

The investigation is still ongoing and anyone with information is urged to contact the Vance County Sheriff’s Office at 252.738.2200.

The Local Skinny! Getting Your Packages Shipped For The Holidays


Remember the 1980’s slogan “when it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight?” As the calendar marches on toward Christmas in less than a week, Mike Moore at Postal Plus has a few suggestions for gift-givers who also must be gift-senders.

“It’s crunch time,” Moore said Monday, but he noted that anything headed up or down the East Coast should make it in time for Christmas Day.

But, as the week goes on, the price for that timely delivery is going to go up.

“We can overnight on Friday, the 23rd, and they have it – in some areas – on Christmas Eve,” Moore said on Monday’s segment of The Local Skinny!

That’s not the case for every location, and it gets more and more expensive as the days tick by, he noted.

Customers who want to send packages will be doing themselves – and Moore – a favor by dropping them off before 3 p.m. so he’ll have time to get the items packed properly and ready for pickup later in the afternoon.

Bring your own box or let the folks at Postal Plus provide the packing materials, Moore said. “We make sure they arrive in time and in safe condition,” he added.

In the 32 years Moore’s been in this business, he said he’s seen a little bit of everything get shipped out of the store, from Christmas gifts to barbecue and stew.

Technology has changed the way things get from one place to another, he said. The use of barcodes makes everything trackable, which allows the industry to handle much higher volume.

Customers shouldn’t wait too long, however, if they still have packages to send. Inclement weather can still put a damper on things, Moore said, which can affect deliveries.

The number one question he answers at this time of year?

That’s easy: “Is it going to be there before Christmas?”



The Local Skinny! NCDHHS Launches COVID 19 Telemedicine Program

You feel bad, so you take the test. And, 15 minutes later, you get the results you were NOT hoping for: you just tested positive for COVID-19.

Now what?

The first step could be as simple as making a phone call.

People who test positive for COVID-19, particularly those who are uninsured or don’t have a primary care doctor, will have better access to treatments thanks to a time-limited telemedicine program launched by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services in partnership with StarMed Healthcare.

After a positive test, early treatment is key to avoiding severe illness and hospitalizations, and treatment may even reduce complications from post-COVID conditions, also called long COVID.

“More than 1 million people in North Carolina don’t have health insurance, which has made accessing care for COVID-19, as with other diseases, very challenging,” said NCDHHS Secretary Kody H. Kinsley. “This program provides a temporary bridge to care for many in rural and historically marginalized communities, but we still need long term investments to close the coverage gap.”

Free telemedicine appointments to screen for COVID-19 treatment eligibility will be available, while funding allows, to North Carolinians who have tested positive for COVID-19 with an at-home test or other method.

To set up an appointment visit https://starmed.care/nc or call 704.941.6000, seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. If the telemedicine provider determines a patient is eligible for oral antiviral treatment, such as Paxlovid, they can send a prescription to the patient’s chosen pharmacy or through a mail-order pharmacy.

“Authorized COVID-19 treatments like Paxlovid can prevent hospitalizations and save lives if started within five days of symptoms,” said NCDHHS Assistant Secretary for Public Health and State Public Health Officer Dr. Susan Kansagra. “Everyone, especially people at high risk of getting very sick from COVID-19, should have a plan to contact a health care provider right away if they test positive. This telemedicine program offers another option for quick access to lifesaving treatments.”

This telemedicine screening service is available regardless of insurance status and IDs are not required. If you have insurance, StarMed Healthcare will bill your health plan and NCDHHS will pay for any additional balance. If you do not have insurance, you will not be charged for your appointment. Oral antiviral pills are available at no-cost to the patient.

Telemedicine appointments through StarMed’s registration form are available in English and Spanish and six additional languages will be made available by the end of the week. Consultations are available in more than 200 other languages through an on-demand interpretation service. American Sign Language interpretation is also available. The telemedicine program will last from mid-December until funding runs out, which is estimated to be about mid-March.

COVID-19 trends are again rising according to the NCDHHS COVID dashboard. Flu and RSV have already stretched hospital capacity this year. One way to help is to get vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19. Everyone 6 months of age and older should stay up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines and boosters. Find a vaccine location near you at MySpot.nc.gov. Everyone 6 months or older should also get a flu vaccine annually. Visit MySpot.nc.gov/flu to find locations and more information.

NCDHHS strongly encourages everyone to stay prepared by knowing what to do and where to go if you get sick with COVID-19.

  • Keep at-home tests on hand and take one if you have symptoms or if you have come in close contact with someone with COVID-19, even if you are up to date on your vaccines. Get tested at least five days after you last had close contact. For more information and to find tests, including free at-home tests, visit MySpot.nc.gov/FindTests (Spanish).
  • If you test positive, stay away from others and follow the CDC’s isolation guidelines. Seek medical care immediately if you have trouble breathing or experience other warning signs. COVID-19 treatments are available and can lower your risk of hospitalization or death. For more information, visit MySpot.nc.gov/FindTreatment (Spanish) or set up a telemedicine appointment online or by calling 704.941.6000.

Through the pandemic, StarMed Healthcare operated 750 test sites across 29 North Carolina counties, administering more than 900,000 tests and more than 500,000 vaccines.

En español:

Gracias a un programa de telemedicina de duración limitada, el cual ha lanzado el Departamento de Salud y Servicios Humanos de Carolina del Norte (NCDHHS) en asociación con el servicio de StarMed Healthcare, quienes den positivo con COVID-19, particularmente si no tienen seguro médico, o no tienen médico de cabecera, ahora tendrán mejor acceso a tratamientos. Luego de dar positivo en la prueba, recibir tratamiento temprano es un factor clave para evitar una enfermedad grave y hospitalización, y el tratamiento incluso pudiera reducir las complicaciones de afecciones posteriores al COVID, también conocidas como el COVID prolongado.

“En Carolina del Norte, más de un millón de personas no tienen seguro médico, lo que ha hecho que sea dificil para muchos tener acceso a atención para el COVID, al igual que para otras enfermedades”, dijo el secretario del NCDHHS, Kody H. Kinsley. “Este programa proporciona apoyo temporal para dar atención a muchas personas dentro de comunidades rurales e históricamente marginadas. Sin embargo, aún necesitamos hacer inversiones a largo plazo para lograr cerrar esta brecha de cobertura de seguro médico”.

Las citas gratuitas de telemedicina para revisar la elegibilidad para recibir tratamientos contra el COVID-19 estarán disponibles, mientras haya los fondos necesarios, para los habitantes de Carolina del Norte que hayan dado positivo con COVID-19, ya sea por una prueba hecha en casa o por otro método. Para hacer una cita, visite https://starmed.care/es/nc/ o llame al 704.941.6000. Puede llamar los siete días de la semana entre las 9 a.m. a 7 p.m. Si el proveedor de telemedicina determina que un paciente es elegible para obtener tratamiento antiviral oral, como Paxlovid, puede enviar una receta a la farmacia que el paciente elija o bien, obtener el producto a través de una farmacia de servicio por correo.

“Los tratamientos para el COVID-19 autorizados como Paxlovid pueden prevenir hospitalizaciones y salvar vidas si se toman dentro de los cinco días después de que empiecen los síntomas”, dijo la Dra. Susan Kansagra, subsecretaria de salud pública y oficial de salud del estado del NCDHHS. “Todos, especialmente las personas en alto riesgo de enfermarse gravemente a causa del COVID-19, deben tener un plan para comunicarse con un proveedor de atención médica de inmediato si dan positivo. Este programa de telemedicina ofrece otra opción para acceder rápidamente a tratamientos que salvan vidas”.

Este servicio de evaluación a través de telemedicina está disponible independientemente del seguro médico y no requiere presentar una identificación. Si usted tiene seguro médico, StarMed Healthcare facturará a su seguro y NCDHHS pagará cualquier costo adicional. Si no tiene seguro médico, no se le cobrará la consulta: las pastillas antivirales están disponibles gratuitamente para el paciente.

Las citas de telemedicina hechas a través del formulario de registro de StarMed están disponibles en inglés y en español, y seis idiomas adicionales estarán disponibles al final de la semana. Las consultas están disponibles en más de 200 idiomas a través de un servicio de interpretación, si se solicita. También está disponible el servicio de interpretación en lenguaje de señas americano. El programa de telemedicina funcionará desde mediados de diciembre hasta que se agoten los fondos, lo que se calcula ocurrirá a mediados de marzo.

De acuerdo a datos del tablero informativo de COVID de NCDHHS, las tendencias de COVID se están elevando nuevamente. Este año, la gripe (influenza) y el virus sincitial respiratorio ya han sobrepasado la capacidad de atención hospitalaria. Una forma de ayudar ante esta situación es vacunarse y recibir la dosis de refuerzo contra el COVID-19. Cualquier persona mayor de 6 meses de edad debe estar al día con sus vacunas y dosis de refuerzo contra el COVID-19. Encuentre un centro de vacunación cercano visitando Vacunate.nc.gov. Cualquier persona mayor de 6 meses de edad también debería vacunarse anualmente contra la gripe. Para encontrar centros de vacunación y más información, visite Vacunate.nc.gov/gripe.

NCDHHS motiva a todas las personas a mantenerse preparados, sabiendo qué hacer y dónde ir en caso de enfermedad a causa del COVID-19.

  • Tenga a la mano pruebas caseras y hágase una en caso de presentar síntomas o bien, si ha estado en contacto cercano con alguien que tenga COVID-19, incluso si usted está al día con sus vacunas. Hágase la prueba unos cinco días después de dicho contacto cercano. Para obtener más información y encontrar sitios de pruebas, incluyendo pruebas gratuitas en casa, visite Vacunate.nc.gov/Pruebas.
  • Si su resultado es positivo, manténgase alejado de los demás y siga las guías de aislamiento emitidas por los CDC. Si tiene dificultad para respirar o presenta otras señales de advertencia, busque atención médica de inmediato. Los tratamientos para el COVID-19 están disponibles y pueden reducir riesgos de hospitalización o muerte. Visite Vacunate.nc.gov/BuscarTratamiento para obtener más información o para hacer una cita de telemedicina en línea o llame al 704.941.6000.

Durante el curso de la pandemia, StarMed Healthcare operó 750 localidades de realización de pruebas en 29 condados de Carolina del Norte, y realizó más de 900,000 pruebas y aplicó más de 500,000 vacunas.