Registration Underway for 9th Annual Warrenton Junior Firefighter Competition

-Information courtesy John W. Franks, Chief Advisor, Warren County Fire Explorers

The Warren County Fire Explorers are now accepting registrations for event sponsors and vendors for its 9th annual Warrenton County Junior Firefighter Competition to be held Saturday, April 27, 2019, at the Warren County Recreation Complex in Warrenton, North Carolina.

The Warren County Junior Firefighter Competition is North Carolina’s biggest junior firefighter competition which attracts hundreds of teenaged firefighters plus their parents, advisors, and supporters from as far away as Tennessee, West Virginia, Florida, and Texas. Last year eleven different North Carolina counties were represented in the competition. An appearance from Duke Life Flight’s medical helicopter and rope demonstrations by the REDS Team from Wake County made it another very enjoyable year as well!

New For 2019:

  • Bronze Sponsor Level – based on the feedback we received, we added another sponsorship level. We now have a Bronze Sponsor level at only $125 for businesses that have a desire to help the Warren County Fire Explorers but don’t want a lot of costly complimentary bonuses in return. The Bronze level sponsors (1) get their name & logo and link on the competition webpage; (2) their name & logo on the Sponsor/Vendor Flyer; (3) they may contribute to the team welcome bags; and (4) business is recognized at the Friday evening social and at the Saturday field competition for sponsoring the competition.
  • Competition Website – We have added the Warren County Junior Firefighter Competition to the Warren County Fire Explorer website ( where teams, sponsors, and vendors can get information and download forms. Sponsors receive their name, logo and link displayed on the website.
  • Sponsor/Vendor Flyer – Sponsors and vendors will have their name & logo printed on full-color flyers distributed to the teams and other solicitations.
  • Food Vendors – Again, based on the feedback we have received, all food vendors will be grouped together in or near the upper parking lot this year.

Click here to view the Sponsor & Vendor Registration Form for more details. Please note that the form and payment must be received prior to Friday, March 29, 2019, to ensure that banners, printings, shirts, etc., are ordered in time for the competition. If you have further questions, please contact Lisa Pitzing at [email protected] or (252) 213-3815.

NOTE: The Warren County Fire Explorers is a county-wide coed career education program for youth 14 to 20 years old. The purpose of the program is to expose youth to firefighting, EMS, and public safety at an early age and to prepare members for a career in emergency services.

The Warren County Junior Firefighter Competition is hosted annually by the Warren County Fire Explorers as its primary fundraiser for the year. Proceeds from this event go directly to the Explorer Post to cover operational costs and to pay for their training and educational needs.

NCDHHS to Offer Free Residential Testing Kits in Honor of Radon Action Month

-Press Release, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS)

As families button up their homes to guard against winter’s chill it is an ideal time to make plans to test for radon, the odorless, colorless gas that is our nation’s second leading cause of lung cancer. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), radon causes more than 21,000 deaths each year, making it the second most common cause of lung cancer deaths in the United States and the number one cause among non-smokers.

Because testing is the only way to know if your family is at risk from radon, Governor Roy Cooper has proclaimed January as Radon Action Month in North Carolina, and beginning next week, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is making 3,600 residential radon testing kits available at no charge. The test kits will be available from local health departments and county extension offices in 32 counties with outreach efforts. Funds for the test kits were provided last fall through a grant from the EPA.

“Radon is a naturally occurring, radioactive gas found in soil and rock that can seep through cracks in the foundations, walls and joints of homes,” said NC Radiation Protection Section Chief Lee Cox. ‘About 7 percent of North Carolina homes have unsafe levels of radon, based on data we’ve collected. That is why we urge testing of homes.”

Radon gas can accumulate and reach harmful levels when trapped in homes and buildings, as may occur during the home heating season, when warm air rises in homes, pulling air from the lower parts of the home where radon may enter. Elevated levels of indoor radon are a preventable and fixable problem with costs of mitigation to reduce the radon to safe levels ranging from $800 to approximately $2,500.

The NC Radon Program’s website offers links to certified professionals who can assist in testing or fixing radon issues in homes. Through mitigation, the naturally occurring radioactive gas is released harmlessly from under the home into outdoor air.

For those who are not in the counties where free test kits are available, homes still should be tested. The NC Radon Program web page has links to several retailers that sell kits, and they are also available in many hardware stores. Retail prices average below $20 per kit. The website also lists resources and a link to an instructive video, and provides information on its web page for families who may qualify for financial assistance to meet mitigation expenses.

For more information visit the NCDHHS’ radon website at

Winter Storm System Expected to Affect Portions of Central NC

-Information and weather charts courtesy Brian K. Short, Director of Emergency Operations, Henderson-Vance County Emergency Operations and the National Weather Service

In case of a power outage, remember to tune in to WIZS Radio at 100.1 FM / 1450 AM with a regular radio.


You may report weather delays and cancellations by email to [email protected] or by text at 432-0774. Delays and cancellations will be posted on the WIZS Facebook page – click here – and announced on the air for this event.


Forecast: Forecasted freezing rain amounts have increased while forecasted snow accumulations have been lowered.

Confidence: High confidence that the event will occur; moderate confidence regarding snow/ice amounts and impacts.

Timing: Wintry weather and its impacts are possible Saturday evening through Monday. The heaviest precipitation is expected to fall Saturday night through about mid-morning Sunday.

Amounts: Light snow accumulation is possible across the northern Piedmont and VA border counties with amounts ranging from a dusting to near an inch. Freezing rain (ice) accumulations are also possible mainly north and west of U.S. Route 1 with amounts ranging from a thin glaze to as much as two tenths (highest north of I-85 and the Triad area).

Impacts: Travel may be impacted by light snow and/or ice accumulations, particularly north and west of Interstate 85. It is possible that we may see some power outages with this event, but we do not believe they will be widespread.


Girl Scout’s Annual Cookie Sale to Begin This Weekend

On Wednesday’s edition of WIZS’ Town Talk program, Teresa Wimbrow, membership director for Franklin, Granville, Vance and Warren County Girl Scouts, discussed the upcoming Girl Scout cookie sale and benefits to the girls involved in the program.

This year’s sale will begin on Saturday, January 12 at 9 a.m. and will continue for several weeks. Wimbrow said the local area should be prepared for “girls ringing your doorbell or at your doorstep selling cookies.” As in years past, troops and adult volunteers will also set up cookie booths at local participating businesses and restaurants.

Cookies are $4 a box and proceeds go towards trips and activities for the girls. Flavors available locally this year include Thin Mints, Caramel Delites, Peanut Butter Patties, Peanut Butter Sandwich, Lemonades, Thanks-A-Lot, S’mores, Shortbread and the new, gluten-free Caramel Chocolate Chip.

For those on a diet or with specific allergies, there is even an option to purchase cookies to send to soldiers who are deployed. Operation Cookie Drop, as the program is called, celebrated sending its one-millionth box of cookies to soldiers last year according to Wimbrow.

Wimbrow, a former educator and basketball, volleyball and softball coach, has been with the Girl Scout organization for 10 years now and says she enjoys helping “build girls of courage, confidence and character.”

“We believe very strongly in the five skills that the girls learn – goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics,” Wimbrow stated. She believes all five of these skills, plus more, are used by the girls during the annual cookie program.

While Wimbrow covers the entire four-county area, she reported that there are five current Girl Scout troops in Vance County with girls ranging in grade level from kindergarten to 12th. “The smallest troop has five girls and the largest troop, at Vance Charter School, has 55 girls,” said Wimbrow.

Younger girls focus on self-confidence, social skills and self-esteem building while the older girls have more opportunities to travel and focus on leadership skills. Troops meet for approximately an hour and a half every other work where they work on improving these skills and earning badges. Wimbrow emphasized that there is a constant need for both female and male adult volunteers to assist with meetings and events.

Wimbrow said in her interview with WIZS that research has shown the positive effects of a childhood spent involved in Girl Scouts. “Research and statistics prove that being a part of Girl Scouts, the leadership organization that it is, serves them [girls] well later in life.”

One need only look at the high percentage of female Congress members and astronauts who were once girl scouts to see an example of the program’s success, said Wimbrow.

“There are a lot of long-standing Girl Scout traditions that are still in place, but as an organization, we have changed with the times,” Wimbrow explained.

The four-county area is part of the larger Girl Scout NC Coastal Pines, a council consisting of 41 counties. For information on the Girl Scout cookie program or testimonials from girls and volunteers alike, please visit

If you know someone interested in joining Girl Scouts, have questions or would like to volunteer, please contact Teresa Wimbrow at (252) 438-8103 or email [email protected].

To hear the interview in its entirety, please click here

Grants Available for Agricultural Products

-Press Release, Tobacco Trust Fund Commission

Supporting the agricultural industry, impacting rural communities and stimulating economic development are key objectives for the 2019 NC Tobacco Trust Fund Commission (NCTTFC) grant cycle. Funds will be awarded in the fall of 2019 for selected innovative projects.

Applications and information are now online at for qualifying organizations. “This year the NCTTFC is specifically interested in job creation in current or former tobacco-dependent regions and funding projects that have the potential to generate additional income for farmers and those in the industry,” said William H. “Bill” Teague, NCTTFC Chairman. “Online applications will be accepted for innovative projects within North Carolina. Applicants can plan to start the projects in November of 2019.”

The NCTTFC was established in 2000 by the N.C. General Assembly to help members of the tobacco community including farmers, tobacco workers and related businesses. Its original funding was established through tobacco industry annual payments as a result of the Master Settlement Agreement. Funding is now appropriated to the NCTTFC which then reviews, selects and disperses the funds to grant projects.

Past NCTTFC projects include farmers market improvements, cost-share grant programs for farmers, training for qualified farm family members in community colleges and support of more than 30 high school agricultural education programs.

More information can be found at the NCTTFC’s website, or by calling 919-733-2160.  The deadline for applications submission is March 8, 2019.

District Attorney Mike Waters Discusses 9th Judicial District, Felony Cases

District Attorney Mike Waters was on Tuesday’s edition of WIZS’ Town Talk program to discuss, among other topics, the recent district restructuring and the process his office uses to determine which of a county’s felony cases to prosecute.

Waters and his office serve the five-county area of Vance, Granville, Franklin, Warren and Person. These five counties now compromise the 9th Judicial and the 11th Prosecutorial districts in North Carolina.

The recent addition of Person County came about through restructuring talks with the legislature that began several years ago and heated up this past summer.

According to Waters, one model that was considered by the legislature would have split Vance and Warren counties from the district and added them to an eastern district that included a coverage area as far away as Bertie County near the coast.

A second model included adding Person County, originally incorporated into the 9th District in 1976, back to the district and keeping the previous four counties.

“Myself, Tommy Hester and others spent a lot of time at the legislature this past summer working on keeping the district together and in the fashion that it came to be,” said Waters. “We thought it in the best interest of not only our district but also the Triangle that we have a DA a lot closer by than one that is a couple of hours away.”

Ultimately, the legislature enacted the second model into law, a set up that Waters believes will remain in effect for the foreseeable future.

“These five counties are essentially the Kerr-Tar Region. Economically we have a lot of connections, everything from hospitals to governmental services, but ultimately what we have is a crime nexus between these communities.”

Felony crimes in Vance County alone add up to almost 1,200 cases a year.

Waters offered the encouraging news that, while still high, that number is down from 4-5 years ago. “I credit the long, hard work that law enforcement has done in reducing that number,” said Waters.

Due to multiple factors including the number of potential cases, allotted court time, available evidence and the lengthiness of the criminal justice process in general, Waters estimates he is able to try 3-5% of cases.

Waters explained that a criminal case pans out one of three ways: enough evidence to charge but not enough evidence to convict; enough evidence to charge, but a plea agreement is made; a plea agreement is not made and the case moves forward.

According to Waters, it takes approximately 225 days to get lower-end felonies tried, while serious convictions such as homicides can take 16-24 months.

Even with these delays, Waters said improvements have been made in turnaround time over the years. “For example, it used to take two years for DNA evidence to come back; now it takes around four months – a tremendous improvement.”

Splitting his time between a five-county area, Waters schedules 10 sessions of Superior Trial Court in Vance County each year. Each session lasts approximately one week.

“With only having 10 weeks, we have to prioritize how to use it. We prioritize violent crimes and prior records,” Waters said.

In addressing potential concerns about the low number of cases tried, Waters stated prioritizing is a necessity. “I think everyone agrees that there are limits to the amount of government that we want to pay for. We don’t want our taxes to be so high and we don’t want to feel like our money is being wasted.”

 To listen to the interview in its entirety, please click here.

McGregor Hall to Feature Ernie Haase + Signature Sound; Opening Act Frank Sossamon

-Information courtesy McGregor Hall Performing Arts Center

Ernie Haase + Signature Sound

Part of the JOY! Series


SATURDAY, January 19, 2019, @ 7 p.m. ~ Doors Open: 6 p.m.

From its formation in 2003, Ernie Haase has built Signature Sound into one of the most popular and beloved quartets in all of Southern Gospel music. The group has traveled all over the world, offering energy, excitement and encouragement through its powerful brand of gospel music. EHSS continues to gain fans all around the globe with its unique performances and unmistakable four-part harmonies. EHSS is one of the most celebrated quartets in Southern Gospel History mentioned with the same “trailblazing” reverence as groups like The Statesmen Quartet and The Cathedral Quartet.

EHSS has sung and sold to millions worldwide, a feat that has not been accomplished by any other Southern Gospel quartet. From concerts in Latvia and India to South Africa and New Zealand, events all around North America, TV appearances on ESPN with NASCAR, multiple NBA appearances singing our National Anthem, and even a specialty tour of historic American theaters in support of the EHSS Broadway project featuring Les Misérables legend J. Mark McVey, Signature Sound is a world-renowned quartet that spans a wide variety of genres and cultures.

As group founder, Haase is a creative, hard-working tenor whose early roots with the unforgettable and legendary Southern Gospel quartet, The Cathedrals, helped begin his dream to form a powerhouse group of his own. Along with many appearances through the years on the widely regarded Gaither Homecoming Tour, his goal was soon accomplished and then some…as EHSS quickly gained an international platform in gospel music.

Ernie Haase & Signature Sound is both GRAMMY(R)-nominated and GMA Dove Award-winning, a radio favorite in the United States and internationally, and a leader in CD sales and long-form music video sales–with several RIAA(R)-certified Gold(R) and Platinum(R) DVDs.

Tickets may be purchased by:

DROP IN: 201 Breckenridge Street, Henderson, N.C. Monday – Friday 1:30 – 5:30 p.m

CALL: (252) 598-0662 (M-F 1:30 – 5:30 p.m.)

CLICK HERE:  (Use the eTix official site, online fees apply)

(This is not a paid advertisement)

Contaminant Levels Above Standard Detected in Local Drinking Water


Important information about your drinking water:

Henderson-Kerr Lake Regional Water has levels of Total Trihalomethanes ABOVE DRINKING WATER STANDARDS.

Our water system recently violated a drinking water standard. Although this incident was not an emergency, as our customers, you have a right to know what happened, what you should do and what we did (are doing) to correct this situation.

We routinely monitor for the presence of drinking water contaminants. Monitoring results for water samples collected during the time period ending September 30, 2018, show that the contaminant concentration from one or more sampling locations in our water system exceeds the standard, or maximum, contaminant level (MCL) for Total Trihalomethanes. The standard for Total Trihalomethanes is 0.080 mg/L. Over the referenced compliance period, the sample location with the highest average level of Total Trihalomethanes had a concentration of 0.105 mg/L.

What Should I Do?

  • There is nothing you need to do. You do not need to boil your water or take other corrective actions. However, if you have specific health concerns, consult your doctor. If a situation arises where the water is no longer safe to drink, you will be notified within 24 hours.
  • If you have a severely compromised immune system, have an infant, are pregnant or are elderly, you may be at increased risk and should seek advice from your health care providers about drinking this water.

What Does This Mean?

This is not an emergency. If it had been, you would have been notified within 24 hours. However, some people who drink water containing trihalomethanes in excess of the MCL over many years may experience problems with their liver, kidneys or central nervous system, and may have an increased risk of getting cancer.

What Is Being Done?

Henderson-Kerr Lake Regional Water is evaluating our distribution system in order to lower our test results. We anticipate resolving the problem within three months.

Please share this information with all the other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes, schools and businesses).

For more information, please contact:

Clarissa Lipscomb, Director – Henderson-Kerr Lake Regional Water, (252) 438-2141

280 Regional Water Lane – Henderson, NC 27536


Franklin Co. Public Utilities Reports Discharge of Untreated Wastewater in Youngsville

-Press Release, County of Franklin

Notification of Discharge of Untreated Wastewater

General Statute 143-215.1C requires that the owner or operator of any wastewater collection or treatment works to issue a press release when an untreated wastewater discharge of 1,000 gallons or more reaches surface waters.

In accordance with that regulation, the following news release has been prepared and issued to media in the affected county: Franklin.

Franklin County Public Utilities experienced a discharge of untreated wastewater from the Youngsville Regional pump station in Youngsville. The spill was a result of rain on Friday, December 28, 2018. The spill occurred at 4 p.m. on December 28, 2018, and discharged until 6 p.m. on December 28, 2018. The discharge of wastewater was estimated to be 3,600 gallons and it entered into an unnamed tributary of Richland Creek which is a tributary of the Neuse River Basin. Franklin County Public Utilities staff were dispatched to the site and started clean up after the overflow stopped.

The division of Water Quality was notified of these events on December 29, 2018, and is reviewing the matter. For additional information concerning this event, please contact Chris Doherty, Franklin County Public Utilities Director at (919) 556-6711.

Additional information can be obtained by visiting Franklin County’s website at and our Facebook Page.

VGCC’s Welding Technology Program at Franklin Earns Vanguard Cup

-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Vance-Granville Community College’s interim president, Dr. Gordon Burns, has honored a team of faculty members in the Welding Technology program at the Franklin Campus by awarding them the “Vanguard Cup” for excellence in education.

The department became the fourth recipients of the cup, an honor created by the President’s Office to recognize “exceptional team performance toward the college mission, vision and strategic plan.” The Vanguard Cup is awarded to a department that meets or exceeds the targets on improvement strategies designed to further department or instructional goals, Dr. Burns said in making the presentation on Thursday, Dec. 13, at a college event in the Civic Center.

Above: Members of the VGCC Welding Department faculty pose with the “Vanguard Cup,” awarded to the Welding program at Franklin Campus for educational excellence by Dr. Gordon Burns, interim president of the college. From left are Dr. Burns; Rusty Pace, program head/instructor for Welding Technology; Allen Tharrington, instructor for Welding at Franklin Campus; and Luke Gravel, instructor for Welding at Main Campus. (VGCC photo)

Rusty Pace, program head and instructor for Welding, and Allen Tharrington and Luke Gravel, instructors, were honored for the Franklin Campus achieving a student course success rate of 100 percent, the president noted.

“The Welding program at the Franklin Campus achieved this superior student course success rate by advancing student skill development through increased repetition and by working more closely with local employers,” said Dr. Burns. “The local employers provided student tours of their respective campuses, served as guest lecturers and hired program graduates.”

In addition to the cup, the department receives up to $10,000 for use on equipment, professional development, adjunct instructors, or other approved purposes for state funds, as well as a luncheon for the area.

Runners-up for the cup were announced as the Math Department faculty who increased the student success rate of Math 171 students by 8 percent by offering supplemental instruction and maintaining performance rates in Math 172; and the Accounting/Business Administration/Entrepreneurship faculty who increased retention rates by connecting with students during registration periods and over the summer

VGCC offers degree, diploma and certificate programs in Welding Technology. In addition to the classes at Franklin, classes are offered on the Main Campus in Vance County. For more information, contact Rusty Pace at (252) 738-3375 or [email protected]