Town Talk 08/19/19: Salvation Army Welcomes Derrick & Odessa Smith

100.1 FM / 1450 AM WIZS; Local News broadcasts M-F 8am, 12pm, 5pm

Vance County’s Salvation Army recently welcomed new leaders Lts. Derrick and Odessa Smith, a husband-and-wife team last stationed in Alamance County.

The Smiths take over for the recently retired Captain Rick Langley and wife Angie who headed the local Salvation Army operation since 2012.

Odessa, who has been a part of the Salvation Army since she was four years old, said it was her experience and love for the ministry that attracted husband Derrick, originally of Duplin County, to serve.

“I’ll be honest, when she first invited me, I thought we were having church at a thrift store,” Derrick recalled with a laugh. “I remember vividly going to the Salvation Army for the first time and the people just came around and loved me like I had been there for 20 years!”

The Smiths have arrived at a transitional time for the local ministry, specifically with the opening of a new facility and ball fields encompassing a 40-acre lot on Ross Mill Road in Henderson. The new building will be located near Mako Medical Laboratories and Vance Charter School.

According to Odessa, the facility is expected to be completed in mid to late October with a ribbon-cutting and building dedication ceremony to follow in November.

The new facility will allow for more space for what the Smiths have identified through studies to be one of the greatest needs of the community – youth services.

“One of the biggest needs is youth development,” explained Odessa. “We would like to have after-school programs, mentoring programs and partnerships with local schools and other community organizations.”

In an interview with WIZS prior to his retirement in June, Rick Langley stated that the new facility will include a community center, gym, full-size commercial kitchen and two ball fields – baseball and soccer.

In addition to hosting Salvation Army-related games, the ballfields will double as the home field of the neighboring Vance Charter School Knights.

While construction is underway on the new building, the Salvation Army will continue to operate from its 355 Alexander Avenue location in Henderson.

The former Salvation Army Store, located at 222 W. Montgomery Street in downtown Henderson, is currently used for storage and provides the space needed to organize larger donations such as furniture, according to Derrick.

The new Salvation Army Store, located at 218 Raleigh Road in Henderson, recently held a one-day anniversary sale on August 10.

“We both want to thank the community for showing up,” Derrick said. “We had folks lining up at 8 a.m. waiting for the sale to begin at 9 a.m. It was a very successful day.”

According to Derrick, one of the highlights of the day was talking to people and making them aware of just how much their purchases were helping the community. “I don’t think many people know this, but 85 cents of every dollar spent goes back to help people in this community.”

“We’ve already seen that we have a very generous community here,” said Derrick. “It helps us to fulfill the Salvation Army’s mission to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in his name without discrimination.”

To hear the Smiths’ Town Talk interview in its entirety, please click the play button below. Listen live to WIZS’ Town Talk Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. on 1450AM, 100.1 FM or online at


Town Talk 08/16/19

100.1 FM / 1450 AM WIZS; Local News broadcasts M-F 8am, 12pm, 5pm


Town Talk 08/15/19

100.1 FM / 1450 AM WIZS; Local News broadcasts M-F 8am, 12pm, 5pm

WIZS Celebrates FM Anniv., Announces Sat. Event at Ribeyes

Approximately one year ago today, WIZS quietly celebrated a big event in its now 64-year history – its first broadcast on an FM radio station.

Since first flipping the switch to enter the airwaves on May 1, 1955, WIZS has broadcast on 1450AM. At exactly noon on August 17, 2018, after years of planning and dreaming, WIZS flipped the switch again to add 100.1 FM as a live simulcast.

Trey Snide and John C. Rose put finishing touches on FM transmission line equipment to isolate the FM antenna which is mounted on the AM tower

John Charles Rose, owner and operator of WIZS, and Trey Snide were on Wednesday’s edition of WIZS’ Town Talk program (08/14/19) to discuss the FM simulcast and what it has meant for the station in its first year of existence.

With its ability to reach a younger audience more familiar with the FM format, the simulcast helps ensure a viable future for WIZS as a provider of local news, sports, music, talk and entertainment.

As is often the case in life, the addition of the FM channel was not without its fair share of blood, sweat, tears and a few “hold your breath” moments.

“When we first flipped the switch a year ago, there was an unbelievably long, almost nauseating period of dead air on the AM station,” Rose remembered.

Feeling reassured once the two channels synched moments later, Rose said, “The FM translator is required to be a simulcast of its AM parent. The AM station that has been here since 1955 is the foundation of everything we do.”

The first moments on 100.1 FM were even more poignant for Rose because his mother, Susan Rose, who serves as president of WIZS’ parent company Rose Farm and Rentals, Inc., was the very first person to speak the very first words WIZS ever broadcast on an FM station.

FM Anniversary Celebration

To recognize both the one-year anniversary of FM simulcasting and 30 years of Rose family ownership of the station, WIZS will hold a community celebration on Saturday, August 17, 2019, at Ribeyes Steakhouse of Henderson. Ribeyes is located at 2002 Graham Avenue, and the event will be held in the parking lot from 3 until 7 p.m.

The Rick Strickland Band, featuring the award-winning music of entertainers Rick Strickland and Lesa Hudson, will be performing live.

Drinks and food specials will be available for purchase; entertainment and good fellowship are free of charge. Rose invited the community to “bring your family, bring your good mood, bring a chair or bring a tent and plan on having a good time.”

Brief History of WHVH/WIZS

On May 1, 1955, Howard V. Harrell, a tv and radio repairman from Oxford, started the station under the call letters WHVH – his initials. The station has been on the air continuously ever since.

The call letters were changed to WIZS around 1959, shortly after the station was sold to Stan Fox and his business partners Irv Fox and Seymour Dworsky.

Rose Farm & Rentals purchased WIZS and assumed operation on June 1, 1989, under president John D. Rose, III, father of John Charles Rose.

For the last 30 years, local news has been broadcast on-air on 1450AM, as well as on the more recently licensed translator 100.1 FM, at 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily; mid-day news has been reported at various times throughout the years.

Along with the addition of FM, WIZS’ online presence grew exponentially in 2018 with 100,000 people visiting the website and new viewers “liking” and/or following the station on social media daily.

The popularity of WIZS’ Facebook and Twitter pages has grown throughout 2019, prompting the station to begin the process of adding an Instagram presence.

WIZS offers the following weekday broadcast schedule:

“Weekday Wakeup with Brandi Leigh” from 6 – 9 a.m.

Mix of County, Beach and Pop/Rock Oldies music from 9 – 11 a.m.

“Town Talk” at 11 a.m.

“Tradio” at 11:30 a.m.

“Beach Music Blast” with Trey Snide at 12 p.m.

“Sports Mayhem” with Kemp Collins at 1 p.m.

Mix of County, Beach and Pop/Rock Oldies music from 2 – 5 p.m., including the “Afternoon Drive” with John Stevenson starting at 3 p.m.

Weekend programs include “Country Grass” with Ms. Velvet from 7 – 9 a.m. and “Choice Country Classics” from 9 a.m. – 12 noon on Saturday, and Saturday afternoon brings a mix of County, Beach and Pop/Rock Oldies music for your listening pleasure.

Robert Wright provides live news, local church happenings and gospel music on Sunday mornings from 7 – 11 a.m. in a segment titled “Sounds of Jordan.” This is followed by Ms. Velvet’s “Sunday Afternoon Gospel Jamboree,” a popular variety of Country, Bluegrass and Gospel music, from 12 – 2 p.m.

Ending the Town Talk segment of August 14, 2019 with a final discussion on the magnitude of being a part of the FM airwaves, Rose said it was a long-time dream of both his and his father.

“Can you imagine being able to flip a switch and make something happen,” Rose asked. “Can you imagine the preparation that goes into that moment? Can you imagine years and decades about dreaming of doing something and then being able to flip a switch and make that happen? I cannot describe what that moment felt like.  I cannot describe in words what it felt like to witness my mother flip that switch.”

To hear the interview in its entirety, please click the play button below. Listen live to WIZS’ Town Talk Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. on 1450AM, 100.1 FM or online at

Town Talk 08/13/19: What You Need to Know About NC’s Medicaid Transformation

100.1 FM / 1450 AM WIZS; Local News broadcasts M-F 8am, 12pm, 5pm

Vance County Department of Social Services’ Denita DeVega, director, and Goldie Davis, program administrator of economic services, were on Tuesday’s edition of WIZS’ Town Talk to discuss changes to Medicaid requirements.

As part of the first phase of the Medicaid Transformation, Vance County recipients must enroll in one of four State-approved health plans and select a primary care physician by Friday, September 13, 2019.

“The process for being eligible for Medicaid and maintaining Medicaid remains the same,” Davis said. “You will still go to your local DSS to apply for Medicaid, benefits will still be maintained at your local DSS and your questions can still be answered at DSS.”

Changes to Medicaid requirements will take effect on November 1, 2019.

Medicaid recipients who have not selected a health care plan by the September 13 deadline will have one chosen for them by the State, Davis reported.

According to a recent press release from DSS, a health plan – through Medicaid – is a group of doctors, hospitals and other providers that will work together to provide healthcare to meet collective needs. The goal is for every medical service – physical health, mental health and medicine – to come through the same healthcare plan.

A primary care provider (PCP) should also be selected to assist with health care needs, which could be in the form of a family doctor, clinic or other health care provider.

Recipients who already have a primary care provider may keep the one they have or choose a new one.

“Ideally, what the State wants is for all of the physicians that are currently enrolled and contracted with Medicaid to be enrolled and contracted with all four plans,” Davis explained. “This will give the recipients the liberty to continue with the same primary care physician regardless of which health plan they choose.”

DeVega announced that a series of informational sessions have been scheduled to guide local recipients through the requirements.

These sessions will be held at Vance Co. Department of Social Services at 350 Ruin Creek Rd in Henderson and are scheduled for Monday, August 26, from 9 – 11 a.m. and 2 – 4 p.m., and Tuesday, August 27 from 9 – 11 a.m. and 2 – 4 p.m.

It is recommended that those who are senior citizens bring a trusted family member or friend to assist in the selection process.

If unable to attend the information sessions, an outreach specialist is available for assistance at Vance Co. DSS from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Assistance will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

For a list of doctors for each health plan, or to enroll, visit, use the NC Medicaid Managed Care mobile app or call 1-833-870-5500. A language line is also available.

For eligibility information or with questions about Medicaid’s new requirements, contact Cathy Hope, 252-492-5001 x 3221, Shelonda Boyd, 252-492-5001 x 3266, Shalonda Daye, 252-492-5001 x 3204, or Vance County Department of Social Services, at 252-492-5001.

To hear the Vance Co. DSS interview in its entirety, including an introduction of new director DeVega, please click the play button below. Listen live to WIZS’ Town Talk Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. on 1450AM, 100.1 FM or online at

Town Talk 08/09/19

100.1 FM / 1450 AM WIZS; Local News broadcasts M-F 8am, 12pm, 5pm

Town Talk 08/08/19: Owens, Mayoral Candidate, Discusses ‘Concern’ for Henderson

100.1 FM / 1450 AM WIZS; Local News broadcasts M-F 8am, 12pm, 5pm

Sharon Owens, candidate for the position of Henderson Mayor, was the guest of honor on Thursday’s edition of WIZS’ Town Talk.

A resident of Montgomery Street in Henderson, Owens is running against incumbent Eddie Ellington in the October 8, 2019, City of Henderson election.

Noting that her decision to run for mayor has been a topic of much self-reflection over the past year, Owens, a budget analyst with Durham Public Schools and an evangelist with Greater Refuge Church Henderson, said it was both prayer and her concern for the City of Henderson that led her to file.

Sharon Owens, candidate for the position of Henderson Mayor, is running against incumbent Eddie Ellington in the October 8, 2019, City of Henderson election. (Photo courtesy Sharon Owens)

“I have a deep concern for the City of Henderson,” Owens said. “When I look at the area now and compare it with other cities of the same size, or even compare it to our past, I am concerned.”

Owens, who has lived in Henderson all of her life minus a year she spent in Richmond, VA, said she is saddened by what issues such as crime, drugs, gangs and lack of viable job opportunities have done to the area she calls home.

“It breaks my heart when I look at how the downtown buildings have gone down, the stores have moved; nothing is like it used to be,” lamented Owens. “I can’t help but wonder what is the mindset of the City Council for downtown development and the city as a whole.”

Citing economic development as one of Henderson’s major issues, Owens said she would like to focus on bringing more jobs to the area by offering companies additional incentives. “We need to give some kind of incentive for jobs to come to the City of Henderson. When people have income and good housing, it makes them feel good about themselves and makes them want to do better.”

Acknowledging that the mayor works very closely with the city manager, Owens said she’d like to see those two positions take a more grassroots approach to affecting change in the community.

“I think that relationship should be such that we could go out into neighborhoods and talk to people at their level about [issues such as] drugs, gangs and murder, talk to people who it directly affects,” said Owens. “If we are being honest, it does not affect everyone.”

After stating the entire City of Henderson should be treated as a whole, Owens conceded, “Some areas of the city require a little more attention than others, especially the areas of high poverty.”

Owens said that she feels progress is being made in addressing issues that often accompany areas of high poverty but believes more can be done. She also believes that she is just the person to do it.

“I’m not saying that the Mayor and City Council aren’t doing a great job; they are doing a magnificent job,” Owens said.”I just believe that I can take it a little bit further.”

For more information on Owens’ campaign, visit her website by clicking here.

(This is not a paid political advertisement. WIZS is in communication with incumbent Eddie Ellington to participate in a similar interview.)

To hear Owens’ Town Talk interview in its entirety, please click the play button below. Listen live to WIZS’ Town Talk Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. on 1450AM, 100.1 FM or online at

Town Talk 08/07/19: Artist Spotlight Rewind With Wes Collins

100.1 FM / 1450 AM WIZS; Local News broadcasts M-F 8am, 12pm, 5pm

Town Talk 08/06/19: Local Marinas Offer Summertime Fuel & Refreshment

100.1 FM / 1450 AM WIZS; Local News broadcasts M-F 8am, 12pm, 5pm

Catherine Hughes, co-owner of Satterwhite Point Marina in Henderson and Rudd’s Creek Marina in Boydton, VA, was on Tuesday’s edition of WIZS’ Town Talk to discuss the steady business that the busy summertime months provide.

“It is a really busy time,” said Hughes. “We are open every day except Monday. Gas stock is really busy right now with the sale of non-ethanol gas, and ice cream is also a big seller, believe it or not. It’s a big thing for a lot of families to stop by and get some ice cream and some other things that we have in the store.”

Satterwhite Point Marina on Kerr Lake offers boat storage, lakeside cabin rentals, a public launching ramp, gas dock and a convenience store. Located off Interstate 85 – Exit 217 – and down Satterwhite Point Road, Satterwhite Point Marina is located by water off Buoy K.

The Hughes’ new Rudd’s Creek Marina offers wet slips, a gas dock with convenience and a marine store on Bugg’s Island Lake. Rudd’s Creek Marina is located at the end of Rochichi Drive, next to Rudd’s Creek Park and Campground off US 58 in Boydton, VA.

To hear the interview with Hughes in its entirety, please click the play button below. Listen live to WIZS’ Town Talk Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. on 1450AM, 100.1 FM or online at