VGCC to Offer Open House at All Four Campuses

-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Vance-Granville Community College will hold an Open House on Saturday, April 6, 2019, from 9 a.m. until noon, at all four of its campuses.

VGCC staff members and faculty will be available during those hours to provide information on the enrollment process, academic programs and student support services. Visitors will also be able to take campus tours.

The Summer 2019 term begins May 20, while the Fall 2019 semester starts on August 19.

Prospective students are encouraged to pre-register for Open House (and select the campus they plan to visit) at

VGCC’s Main Campus is located at 200 Community College Road, Henderson (Exit 209 on Interstate 85, about midway between Henderson and Oxford).

The Franklin County Campus is located at 8100 N.C. 56., Louisburg (just west of Louisburg).

South Campus is located at 1547 South Campus Drive, Creedmoor (off of N.C. 56, between Creedmoor and Butner).

The Warren County Campus is located at 210 West Ridgeway Street (U.S. 158 Business) in Warrenton.

For more information on enrolling, call (252) 738-3234 or visit any campus.

Bert Beard, Maria Parham CEO, Talks Growth & Expansion

Bert Beard, CEO of Maria Parham Health, was on Thursday’s edition of WIZS’ Town Talk program to discuss his role at the hospital and to provide updates on recent expansions at both the Henderson and Louisburg locations.

Maria Parham CEO

“My job, most simply put, is to take care of the people who take care of our patients,” said Beard. In other words, Beard listens to and addresses the needs and concerns of Maria Parham employees, a dedicated group he refers to as the frontline of the organization.

To better understand these needs, Beard calls for a “morning huddle” involving the hospital leadership team each weekday morning at 9 a.m. “We kick off the meeting with three positive things going on in the hospital or with team members, then we talk about things happening in the hospital – safety issues, things we need to anticipate throughout the day and things that we need to disseminate to our caregivers.”

With a five-county coverage area from the Virginia border to south of Louisburg, Beard said operating a hospital, in many ways, is akin to running a town with its own unique advantages and challenges.

“A hospital is like a small city in terms of people coming and going every day,” Beard explained. “It’s a high-stress environment. People are coming here with health issues; they’re scared and their family members are scared. It is our job to not only take care of the patient with the diagnosis but also take care of families and help put them at ease.”

MPH Growth and Expansion

One of the main areas of focus for Beard, and many of the Maria Parham staff, over the past year has been getting the Maria Parham Franklin facility in Louisburg up and running.

Since its grand opening in October 2018, the Franklin facility has seen more emergency room patients than originally projected and expanded outpatient services with the addition of a multispecialty clinic and medical office building located next to the hospital.

Beard also reported that ground was recently broken on the construction of a 20-bed psychiatric unit to open in early 2020.

At the main Maria Parham facility in Henderson, hospital leaders are currently submitting a proposal to build a new catheterization laboratory to further expand the cardiovascular services offered through the hospital’s partnership with Duke LifePoint Healthcare.

A regional human resource center has also been added across the street that will serve all of LifePoint and add jobs to the community, according to Beard.

Maria Parham’s cancer treatment program is yet another bragging point for the hospital. “Our cancer program here has been a feather in our cap for nearly 20 years,” said Beard. “We have Duke providers, and we use Duke protocols and Duke research. Anything you can get done in Durham or Raleigh, you can get done here – radiation oncology and medical oncology.”

When looking at how much Maria Parham has to offer, including the convenience of quality care close to home, Beard said the community is fortunate to have access to “excellent services, especially general surgery and cardiology – the core to a community hospital.”

From his unique perspective as CEO, Beard is able to see the way all of the parts and pieces come together to make up the bigger picture. “I love what I do. There isn’t a single job in this hospital that isn’t critically important.”

To hear the Town Talk interview with Bert Beard in its entirety, click here.

NC Farmers, Supporters to Attend Agriculture Awareness Event

-Press Release, NCDA&CS

The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is hosting Ag Awareness Day. Farmers, agribusiness leaders and Ag supporters will attend to show their support for North Carolina’s No. 1 industry and to thank legislators for passing the $240 million Hurricane Florence Ag Disaster Relief package. Participants will meet with legislators and attend a program in Bicentennial Plaza.


Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Bicentennial Plaza, Raleigh (between the Agriculture Building and the N.C. Museum of History)

*8:30 a.m. – Buses will depart the fairgrounds bringing Ag Awareness Day participants downtown.

*9 – 11 a.m. – Participants will meet with their legislators.

*11:30 a.m. – Ag Awareness Day program begins in Bicentennial Plaza, including the following speakers:

Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler, Gov. Roy Cooper, Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, President Pro Tempore Phil Berger, Speaker Tim Moore, Senator Brent Jackson, Representative Jimmy Dixon, Senator Dan Blue, Representative John Bell, Senator Don Davis, Representative Brian Turner and NCSU Dean Richard Linton.

*All times are approximate.

VGCC Presents 7th Annual Dinner Theater: ‘Company’ by Stephen Sondheim

-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

“Company” by Stephen Sondheim

Tickets for Seventh Annual Dinner Theater will go on sale March 25!

Check out the details below of what promises to be an evening of fun, food and fellowship in the great Vance-Granville Drama and Culinary Arts tradition and get your tickets at The event, once again involving the collaboration of the VGCC Drama and Culinary Arts departments, is scheduled for the evenings of Thursday, April 25 and Friday, April 26, 2019, in the Civic Center on VGCC’s Main Campus in Vance County. Dinner begins at 6 p.m. each evening.

Sondheim’s musical is a sophisticated and honest look at modern adult relationships.

From musical theatre’s most renowned composer, “Company” is largely regarded as a trailblazer of the dark-comedy, modern-musical genre and the winner of seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Score, Best Lyrics and Best Book.

On the night of his 35th birthday, confirmed bachelor Robert contemplates his unmarried state. Over the course of a series of dinners, drinks and even a wedding, his friends – “those good and crazy people [his] married friends” – explain the pros and cons of taking on a spouse. The habitually single Robert is forced to question his adamant retention of bachelorhood during a hilarious array of interactions.

“Company” features a brilliantly brisk and energetic score containing many of Stephen Sondheim’s best-known songs. The strength of the piece lies in its vivid yet real characters, meaning impressive technical aspects aren’t necessary to convey the story. It can be told as effectively with a cavalcade of automated set pieces as it can with a chair or two. Every audience member will see reflections of themselves in at least one of the characters onstage.

Betsy Henderson, VGCC’s Department Chair/Instructor of Humanities and Fine Arts, is the director of the play.

Tickets are $30 and are scheduled to go on sale on March 25. Audience members will be able to choose the table and specific seats they want at the same time that they buy their tickets online. Patrons are encouraged to purchase their tickets early in order to have the best chance of getting the seats they want for this year’s show.

For more information, visit

Local Chambers of Commerce to Host Administrative Professionals Luncheon

— Information courtesy Granville County Chamber of Commerce | Ginnie Currin, Executive Director ~ 919-693-6125 ~ [email protected]

The Granville County Chamber of Commerce, together with Franklin, Warren and Vance Chambers are sponsoring the annual Administrative Professionals Luncheon.

This year’s event is being held Wednesday, April 24 at noon at Thorndale Oaks, 105 West Quailridge Road in Oxford. We are honored to have Vance-Granville Community College’s new President, Dr. Rachel Desmarais, as our guest speaker for the luncheon.

Business owners and administrators are encouraged to treat their administrative professionals to lunch, networking and an opportunity to meet Dr. Desmarais in observance of Administrative Professionals’ Day.

Lunch reservations are required ~ $20 per guest by April 18 to either of the Chamber’s offices – 919.693.6125, [email protected] or 919.528.4994, [email protected].

Franklin Co. Sheriff’s Office Arrests Wake Resident on Indecent Liberties Charge

On February 11, 2019, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division issued a warrant for the arrest of David Alan Brantley, a Wake County resident. Mr. Brantley was charged with: (1) one count of Felony Indecent Liberties with a Child.

On March 14, 2019, with the assistance of Wake County Sheriff’s Office, David Alan Brantley was arrested and served on the above-listed charge.

David Alan Brantley was given a $15,000 secured bond and is currently being held in the Wake County Detention Center,

David Alan Brantley – 102 Knott Drive Knightdale, NC 27545, DOB: 12/01/1998.

On February 11, 2019, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division issued a warrant for the arrest of David Alan Brantley, a Wake County resident. Mr. Brantley was charged with: (1) one count of Felony Indecent Liberties with a Child. (Photo courtesy FCSO)

Get Slimed for a Good Cause at FGV Smart Start’s ‘Slime Walk’

-Information and flyer courtesy Christan Paylor, Professional Development Coordinator, FGV Smart Start

Franklin-Granville-Vance Smart Start will hold a “Slime Walk” on Saturday, April 6, 2019, at Franklinton High School – 910 Cedar Creek Rd. in Franklinton, NC.

Event registration begins at 9:30 a.m.; walk takes place from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m.

The pre-registration deadline has passed, but registration will be allowed the day of the walk.

Bring out a group, walk for children and have fun!

For more information, please contact FGV Smart Start at (252) 433-9110, ext. 224.


State Broadband Office Publishes Homework Gap Report

-Information courtesy NC DIT

Eric Boyette, Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Information Technology (DIT) and State Chief Information Officer, announced today the release of the “The Homework Gap in North Carolina,” a report that provides communities with strategies to bridge the homework gap that occurs when students are assigned homework that requires internet access but lack an internet connection at home.

N.C. DIT’s Broadband Infrastructure Office developed the homework gap report in partnership with The William & Ida Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at North Carolina State University. This report contributes to a growing body of research and strategic policy recommendations designed to equip state and local policymakers, educators, and other key stakeholders with information to understand the homework gap and strategies to address it.

“We know we have many children in our state that are victims of this digital divide,” Secretary Boyette said. “Understanding the nature and scope of this problem is key to closing the homework gap.”

Governor Roy Cooper’s budget proposal makes closing the homework gap a significant priority. Governor Cooper proposes a $5 million fund to support schools that need internet hot spots for students and Wi-Fi technology for school buses.

“Too often I hear of students doing homework in the parking lots of fast food restaurants or driving long distances to use free Wi-Fi at churches and friends’ homes,” Governor Cooper said. “This is unacceptable in this day and age and it creates inequity in our educational system.”

Governor Cooper also signed Executive Order 91, which establishes a new Governor’s Task Force on Connecting North Carolina and directs state government leaders to identify and remove barriers to facilitate private-sector deployment of last-mile infrastructure, eliminate the homework gap, and support the adoption of affordable, high-speed internet access.

N.C. DIT has already begun implementing the report’s recommendations, including the BIO’s continued effort to gather more and better data through surveys such as the Speak Up survey. Speak Up is an annual research project and a free service to all schools and was the first online research tool designed to help parents share their ideas directly with schools and national policymakers. BIO partnered with the N.C. Department of Public Instruction to include homework gap specific questions in the 2018-2019 Speak Up survey.

One way the state is currently working to combat the homework gap is through the State Library of North Carolina and N.C. DIT’s pilot program with the Robeson County Public Library and Public Schools of Robeson County. The pilot program is funded by a $250,000 two-year grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and will provide Robeson County Public Library with 35 Wi-Fi hotspot devices for up to 35 K-12 households.

To access the report, please visit The Homework Gap in North Carolina on the Broadband Infrastructure Office website. To take the Speak Up survey, please visit

Citizen Complaints Lead to Drug Arrest of Franklin Co. Resident

-Press Release, Franklin County Sheriff’s Office

The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Drug Unit and Special Response Team arrested Franklin County resident, Christopher Myles Evanston Yarborough for multiple drug violations. In addition to the arrest, a search warrant was executed at 910 Dogwood Lane Franklinton, NC. The arrest of Mr. Yarborough and subsequent search occurred on February 28, 2019.

The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Drug Unit received multiple complaints that Mr. Yarborough was involved in the illegal use and sale of controlled substances in and around the Franklinton area. The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Drug Unit was able to corroborate the information and the investigation led to the arrest of Mr. Yarborough as well as the execution of the search warrant at his residence. The investigation and arrest resulted in the seizure of Crack Cocaine, Marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Christopher Myles Evanston Yarborough of 910 Dogwood Lane in Franklinton, NC was arrested and charged with Possession with intent to Sell and Deliver Marijuana (2 Counts), Sell and Deliver Marijuana, Possess with the Intent to Sell and Deliver Cocaine, Sell and Deliver Cocaine, Maintain a Dwelling/Vehicle for the purpose of Selling Controlled Substances (3 Counts). (Photo courtesy FCSO)

Sheriff Kent Winstead stated, “Our response to citizen complaints is a high priority for our Drug Unit. We continue to encourage citizens to be observant and to report suspicious activity to the Sheriff’s Office. Our goal is to identify and arrest those who chose to sell these illegal drugs in our communities.”

The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Drug Unit was assisted in this investigation by the North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement Branch of the SBI.

Christopher Myles Evanston Yarborough 910 Dogwood Lane Franklinton, NC 27525 DOB: 8/14/1993

Christopher Myles Evanston Yarborough was charged with the following: Possession with intent to Sell and Deliver Marijuana (2 Counts) Sell and Deliver Marijuana Possess with the Intent to Sell and Deliver Cocaine Sell and Deliver Cocaine Maintain a Dwelling/Vehicle for the purpose of Selling Controlled Substances (3 Counts).

Christopher Myles Evanston Yarborough is currently in the Franklin County Detention Center under a $75,000 secured bond.

For more information regarding this investigation, or to provide information regarding drug activity in your community, please contact Sergeant Ken Pike at (919) 496-2186.


VGCC Franklin Campus to Hold ‘Community Engagement Night’

-Information courtesy Christopher LaRocca, Director of Communications, VGCC

Vance-Granville Community College will hold a “Community Engagement Night” event at their Franklin Campus in Louisburg on Tuesday, March 19, 2019.

The community is invited to hear campus updates and discussion on the community college vision and VGCC’s strategic direction. An open dialogue session will also provide a speaking opportunity for participants.