Granville County Observes National Night Out on August 3rd

Granville County municipalities are observing National Night Out Against Crime on Tuesday, Aug. 3. Events are planned in Oxford and Creedmoor and residents are invited to come out and enjoy food and activities.

The Oxford event will be held from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at D.N. Hix Field, located at 313 E. Spring St. There will be free hotdogs, chips, cupcakes, lemonade and tea available, and attendees can participate in lots of activities, from a 3-on-3 basketball tournament to visiting with McGruff the Crime Dog.
In addition, there will be a public safety vehicle display, a food truck rodeo and music at the Oxford event.

The Creedmoor event will be held at South Granville High School from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and includes children’s activities and free hotdogs, popcorn, sno-cones and beverages, according to information from the Granville Chamber of Commerce.

“National Night Out is a unique opportunity for the police department and our community members to bond and build relationships while having a little fun,” said Creedmoor Police Chief Keith King.
Activities include an inflatable obstacle course, impaired-vision course, several emergency vehicle displays and a visit from Duke Life Flight. The Creedmoor Volunteer Fire Department will be on hand to provide water activities, so children are encouraged to wear play clothes and to bring a towel!
Friendly competitions will pair police officers with kids for an obstacle course challenge as well as the ever-popular sixth annual doughnut eating contest.

This year marks the 38th annual National Night Out. More than 16,000 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities and military bases around the world are involved. In all, more than 40 million people are expected to participate in “America’s Night Out Against Crime.”
Volunteers are still needed for the Creedmoor event. If you or your community group would like to volunteer and support this family-friendly event, call Angie Perry, Event Coordinator, at 919.764.1013 or email

South Granville High School is located at 701 North Crescent Drive.

The Local Skinny: Recycling On The Rise In Granville

In the 12 years since Teresa Baker has been recycling and sustainability coordinator for Granville County and Granville County Public Schools, she has seen a lot of things change. And most of it is because of her efforts to get the community onboard with recycling.

“It’s improved tenfold,” Baker told Bill Harris on Thursday’s The Local Skinny! “It‘s just been amazing.”
When the county started this program 12 years ago, residents were separating newspaper from aluminum cans from glass bottles. Now, residents can simply collect all their recyclables in a single container, what the industry calls “single stream.”

Among her many job duties, Baker collaborates with GFL, formerly Waste Industries, to make sure all residents have the service they need so their recycling efforts are optimized.

By informing the community about events like the fall and spring household recycling events she hosts, Baker said Granville residents are keeping a lot of harmful items out of the environment.

“We can reuse a lot of stuff, we can repair and recycle” to keep things out of the landfill. She said the upcoming RepairCafé workshop is just another way to keep items from being added to the landfill. She and Oxford resident and RepairCafé organizer Don Fick have teamed up to have a workshop at the Granville Expo Center on Sept. 18.

TownTalk: Repair Cafe Event Coming To Granville County

Don Fick of Repair Cafe NC discusses how his organization repairs many daily household items keeping them out of local landfills.

For complete details and audio click play.

Just because the button on your household gizmo is broken doesn’t mean it needs to go straight to the landfill – it may just need a quick trip to a RepairCafé workshop. There’s one coming up Saturday in Durham, but Don Fick and his crew are coming to Granville County in September.

Fick and Teresa Baker, the county’s recycling and sustainability coordinator, held an interest meeting last week in Oxford and have since scheduled a workshop for Saturday, Sept. 18 at the Granville County Expo Center. Fick joined Bill Harris on Wednesday’s Town Talk to talk about what RepairCaféNC is and what it does.

At its simplest, Fink said, RepairCafé workshops consist of a group of folks who get together and share repair skills to fix broken items that others bring in.  There is no charge for the labor, although guests may be asked to reimburse for replacement parts that are used.

In today’s society, disposable items are everywhere – things that once were made to last a long time are now easily – and more economically – replaced. But that “stuff” has to go somewhere. And, usually, that means a landfill.

“The money that the county has to spend to dump a ton of waste is only going up,” Fick said. Individuals don’t really have to think about that, he added. “We toss it in the trash can and the truck comes and picks it up and we never see it again.”

Fick said a mission of RepairCafé is to reduce the amount of waste consumers generate that ends up in landfills. When a lamp stops working and it’s not the light bulb that’s the problem, someone who lacks confidence about making repairs may choose to toss it. But that same lamp may find new life in the hands of one of the RepairCafé “coaches.”

Fick said the volunteers have a 65 percent success rate of fixing the items that they work on. They see a lot of lamps, as well as vacuum cleaners, electronic equipment, necklaces and children’s toys.

He cited one example of a woman who brought in a music box – a gift from her grandmother – that had long ago ceased playing.

“She sat with two of our coaches and together they meticulously cleaned it, lubricated it, worked very carefully on realigning some bent pieces of metal. And after an hour’s work, it was playing music again,” Fick recalled. “We were able to restore her cherished possession,” and she got to share her story and her relationship with her grandmother.

“We’re doing more than fixing stuff,” Fick said. “We’re helping people reconnect with memories and we’re showing appreciation for the stories they bring.”

Fick said the group is looking for volunteers for the Granville County workshop. The volunteer coaches simply have an interest or curiosity of how things work, he said, and have a skill set for making repairs.

The Durham workshop will be held at The Scrap Exchange from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Visit to learn more or to register to attend a workshop.


The Local Skinny! McClary To Speak At Living Stones Church Of God Worship Center in Oxford

WIZS has been asked to announce the appearance of a special guest speaker at Living Stones Church of God Worship Center.

First Lieutenant Patrick Cleburne McClary, III, USMC, Retired is a Vietnam War hero, and he will speak at Living Stones COG in conjunction with National Purple Heart Day.

National Purple Heart Day is August 7th and “Clebe” McClary, as he is known to thousands, will speak at Living Stones COG on August 8th.

The worship center is located at 6096 Tabbs Creek Road, Oxford.

Andy Roberson, Commander of American Legion Post 60, may be contacted for more information at 252-432-2432.

Praise and worship begins at 10:40 a.m., and guest speaker McClary will begin at 11 a.m.

Edward Woodlief, historian of Henderson American Legion Post 60, told WIZS News, “McClary is the recipient of the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, three purple hearts, the Audie Murphy award and numerous other awards given him for combat during the Vietnam War. McClary, a South Carolina native, was seriously wounded but continued to lead his men while under enemy fire. After numerous surgeries and a long rehabilitation, he has become the symbol of courage and hope for audiences around the world.”

McClary is online at, and the site says, “During the Vietnam War, while some of his contemporaries were staging anti-war protests and desecrating the American flag, the Lowcountry (South Carolina) native was serving as a platoon leader in the First Reconnaissance Battalion. On the battalion’s 19th patrol, the unit was attacked by the Viet Cong. Lieutenant McClary was seriously wounded, losing his left arm and left eye, yet he continued to lead his men. The numerous surgeries and long recovery period that followed could have taken a bitter toll, but he faced his rehabilitation with characteristic determination. In the years since, Lieutenant McClary has become a symbol of courage and hope to the many audiences around the world with whom he has shared his story.”

For more, click play.

TownTalk: Granville County Celebrates 275 Years

Question: What was the largest town in Granville County in 1880?

Answer: Henderson.

It’s not a trick question, but unless you’re a local history buff, you may not know that for about 135 years, a good part of Vance County was, well, in Granville County, as were Warren and Franklin counties.

Present-day Granville County residents are preparing to celebrate the county’s 275th anniversary with a day-long event at Granville Athletic Park. About two years in the making, the celebration has something for everyone, according to planning committee members Mark Pace and Chair Sue Hinman. They joined county tourism director Angela Allen on Thursday’s Town Talk to talk about the exciting details with John C. Rose and Bill Harris.

“This is truly a celebration,” Allen said, of the county’s history, its progress, its resources – all the great things that make Granville County what it is today.

The GAP will be filled to overflowing with activities from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the whole family to enjoy. Balloons and clowns and games and music, to name a few, Hinman said. At 9 a.m., there will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open Phase III of the GAP, which contains new tennis courts and an inclusive playground.

Hinman, chair of the county commissioners board, said she is excited to be a part of the celebration and to be able to spread the word about the county’s 275th anniversary.

Allen said the park will be filled to overflowing with everything from live music to bouncy houses for the kids. Visit to find a complete schedule of events.

At the sports pavilion, attendees will find a variety of resources where they can learn about the cities, towns and communities in the county.

Also available is a book written and compiled by local author Lewis Bowling. Looking Back: 275 years of Granville County History will be available for purchase, and Bowling will be on hand to sign copies, Pace said.

Of the hundreds of books that have been written about Granville and the surrounding areas, this is a “complete narrative history,” Pace said. “And this is the first one of Granville County,” he added. Among the 300 pages of the coffee-table style book are many never-before published photographs that capture Granville County’s past.

At 10 a.m., an opening ceremony will kick off the event, with presentation of colors and remarks from local dignitaries. After that, Allen said it’s time to enjoy live music in the amphitheater, food from a variety of vendors and even visit an outdoor classroom space where folks can learn about such things as the history of tobacco in the area as well as where the walking trails in the county can be found.

The Granville-Vance Health District will be on hand for COVID-19 testing as well as COVID-19 vaccines, Allen said.

The committee was formed and began planning before the pandemic, and Pace said, to be honest, there were times during the planning process when the group didn’t know whether the celebration would be able to take place at all. Allen said the committee members come from across the county and all municipalities are represented.

“It’s a great mix of community pieces,” she said. “We wanted to make this as inclusive as we possibly could.” The celebration represents the thought that went into the planning process.

Until the original county was carved up into the four counties we know today, Allen said she has learned through planning for this event that Granville County was truly a hub for the state. She said it is great to be able to “live, work and play in a community that already has a reputation of bringing people together.”

Today, about 60,000 people call Granville County home. Back in the late 1780’s, when it was just more than 40 years old, there were about 6,500 residents, and one of those residents was John Penn, North Carolina’s only signer of the Declaration of Independence. Penn died in 1788, but chances are slim to none that he ever ate a funnel cake or enjoyed a sno-cone. Visitors to the GAP next Saturday, however, could glimpse such an anachronistic sight – sort of.

Mark Pace will portray Penn during the event, sharing stories and insight from a time more than 200 years ago. And who knows? Maybe he’ll wander over to the sno-cone stand to see which flavor he prefers.

For complete details and audio click play.


Hot Sauce Festival Seeking Volunteers

Are you ready for the heat? Volunteers are needed for the 15th Annual Hot Sauce Contest and Festival that will take place in downtown Oxford Saturday, September 11th from 11am until 5pm. If you are interested in volunteering for the Hot Sauce Contest and Festival or for other city or Department of Economic Development Commission events contact Alyssa Blair at 919-603-1102 or Rebekah Guiterrez-Olivares at 919-603-1101. Free T-shirts will be given to volunteers.  The festival features barbecue & hot sauces and locally crafted products along with food trucks, selected crafted brews, unique sounds from local bands, a pepper eating contest, classic car show, and attendees can cheer for their favorite sauce to win a 2021 medal naming best sauces.

The festival attracts thousands of visitors each year, this is sure to be one Smokin’ Hot event.

Stephen Horton of Oxford to serve as commissioner of NC State Council for Interstate Juvenile Supervision

Gov. Roy Cooper appointed Stephen Horton of Oxford to serve as the commissioner of the North Carolina State Council for Interstate Juvenile Supervision. The Appointment became effective June 17.

Horton is the deputy compact administrator for the Interstate Compact for Juveniles at the Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice.

Horton and other state and territory commissioners serve on The Interstate Commission for Juveniles, the governing body of the Interstate Compact for Juveniles. Commission members include representatives from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the US Virgin Islands, who work together to preserve child welfare and promote public safety.

The Interstate Compact for Juveniles (ICJ) is the law that regulates the interstate movement of juveniles who are under court supervision or have run away to another state. The ICJ is a contract that has been adopted as law throughout the United States. The Commission is responsible for promoting and enforcing rules to implement the ICJ.

Horton also serves on the ICJ Rules Committee, which provides oversight and guidance regarding proposed rule amendments throughout the ICJ rule-making process.

Horton began working in Court Services District 24, which includes Avery, Madison, Mitchell, Watauga and Yancey counties, in April 1999. He’s worked in various positions during his 22 years with Juvenile Justice, including court counselor, court counselor supervisor, and staff development specialist. In May 2014, he began serving as the deputy compact administrator for Interstate Compact for North Carolina.

Horton graduated from Appalachian State University in 1996 with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.

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Granville County’s David Smith Receives Order of the Long Leaf Pine

Granville County’s David Smith was awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine earlier this week.  The award is one of the most prestigious in North Carolina and comes from the Governor.

Smith, presently chairman of the Granville County Commissioners, is a former Sheriff of Granville County.

The Order of the Long Leaf Pine society’s web page ( indicates North Carolina Governors have presented the award since 1963 “for persons who have made significant contributions to the state and their communities through their exemplary service and exceptional accomplishments.”

Comm. David Smith, District 2, is pictured with his family as Granville County’s Clerk to the Board, Debra Weary, administers the oath Dec 3, 2018. (Photo Credit: County of Granville)

On the web site  ( you can see additional details.  For 48 or more years, Smith has served Granville County.


Health Department Expects First Shipment of COVID Vaccine This Week

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Granville Vance Public Health addresses the COVID-19 vaccine in the following statement:

Granville Vance Public Health (GVPH) continues to work on the response to COVID-19 each day, each night, and each weekend. We are also eagerly planning for the vaccine to come our way. The first doses have arrived in NC.

We will likely receive our first shipments in the health department the week of December 14 and will give instructions for those who can sign up in the online registration system as soon as we are able to – we are already collecting information about first responders and health care workers and will notify those individuals about how to register in the online system – all health care entities should seek information about ways to have staff sign up who are interested.

We are receiving lots of questions about the vaccine – below are a few of the top questions and answers as well as additional resources from the CDC about the vaccine for COVID-19.

When will it be my turn?
Healthcare workers who are in the highest risk categories for exposure to the virus will be first, including all of those working in hospital ICUs, COVID-19 units, and leading emergency response. Then, other health care workers and first responders will have opportunities too in the coming weeks.

At the same time, hospitals and health departments receive and give vaccines, private pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens will also receive shipments of the vaccine specifically for nursing homes and long-term care facilities. The federal government has contracted with CVS and Walgreens directly to help the high-risk workers and residents living in nursing homes and long-term care facilities, so they will get theirs first too.

The next prioritized group will be adults with two or more chronic conditions who are more likely to have severe illness from the virus, and others who are at risk, such as frontline workers. Those workers include police, teachers and child care workers.

As more vaccine shipments arrive in the state, they will then be made available to anyone who wants one, at clinics, pharmacies and community vaccination events. Widespread availability is expected around the spring.

Does the vaccine cost anything?

The vaccine will be free to all individuals – any fees covering health care workers’ time and talents during this mass vaccination will be paid for by insurance companies, Congress, and grants.

These vaccines were produced so quickly. How do we know they are safe?

The CDC reports: “It is the U.S. vaccine safety system’s job to make sure that all vaccines are as safe as possible. Safety has been a top priority while federal partners have worked to make COVID-19 vaccines available for use in the United States. The new COVID-19 vaccines have been evaluated in tens of thousands of individuals, who volunteered to be vaccinated and to participate in clinical trials. The information from these clinical trials allowed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to determine the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines. These clinical trials were conducted according to rigorous standards set forth by the FDA. The FDA has determined that the newly authorized COVID-19 vaccines meet its safety and effectiveness standards. Therefore, the FDA has made these vaccines available for use in the United States under what is known as an Emergency Use Authorization. More here:

A few other facts to know:

  • The vaccine does not contain any live virus, so you cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine, but it does have a replica of the virus so your body learns how to fight it off.
  • Most people will experience a few mild reactions such as soreness in the arm where the virus was injected, slight fever, chills, and general tiredness for about a day or two. This is the body’s natural reaction to indicate a person is building up their immune system. This is expected and should be mild. Pain relievers are fine to take as recommended to help prevent these mild side effects that are common.
  • The vaccine was not tested widely in children yet, so the first vaccines available will be for the adult population. As more vaccine testing is conducted, we will know more about how it will affect children, but for now, the vaccine is primarily for those 18 and older.
  • The vaccine was not tested widely yet in pregnant women. Like for children, we do plan to know more about vaccine safety in pregnant women in the coming months, but this will not be a priority group for vaccinations for this month.
  • Building our collective defense against COVID-19 is a team effort and everyone is part of the defense – getting the COVID-19 Vaccine adds one more layer of protection for you, your family, your friends, your co-workers and others in your community. Please ask questions of us and check your sources about vaccine information as you learn more.

Dr. Guthrie and I will be hosting a Facebook live conversation Friday, December 18 at 4:30 p.m. to answer your own questions about the vaccine. Please submit questions at this link and encourage others to do the same! We will also be adding vaccine information to our web site this week. NC DHHS has an informative vaccine webpage as well.

Please remember that even though the first vaccine from Pfizer is approved and on its way, that does not mean we get to let up on wearing the mask, washing our hands, and staying apart from one another – that’s more important now than ever! We are still seeing large numbers of active cases in both our counties, and statewide; we are worried about the staffing levels at hospitals. Now is the time to work as hard as we can together to make it to the other side of this pandemic and we have to do ALL the things we know work well in combination to keep the virus from spreading.

Granville Vance Public Health Logo

GVPH COVID Update: Number of Local Active Cases Continues to Rise


-Information courtesy Granville Vance Public Health

GVPH provided the following update for COVID-19 spread and response in Granville and Vance County as of December 14, 2020. Granville Vance Public Health numbers correlate with the NC Electronic Disease Surveillance System (NCEDSS) data.

The county case numbers reported on the NC county map from the NC Department of Health and Human Services may differ from the ones reported locally as they are updated at different times and may change once residence is verified.

Vance County

Total Cases: 2,168
Active Cases: 748

Total Cases in Community: 1,982
Active Cases: 739
Cases Off-Isolation: 1,221

Total Cases at Long-Term Care Facilities: 186
Active Cases: 9
Cases Off-Isolation: 136

There is currently an outbreak at Senior Citizens Home and Kerr Lake Nursing Home.

Total Hospitalized with COVID-19: 22

Total Deaths: 63
Community: 22
Pelican Nursing Home: 14
Kerr Lake Nursing Home: 12
Senior Citizens Home: 15

Unfortunately, an additional death has been reported in the community. A 72-year-old male passed away on December 12.

Granville County

Total Cases: 3,114
Active Cases: 673

Total Cases in Community: 2,190
Active Cases: 464
Cases Off-Isolation: 1,716

Total Cases at Federal Prison: 534
Active Cases: 8
Cases Off-Isolation: 504

Total Cases at Long-Term Care Facilities: 390
Active Cases: 201
Cases Off-Isolation: 161

There are currently outbreaks at Universal Health Care, Murdoch Development Center, Granville House, RHA Health Services – Stem, Polk Correctional Institution, Oxford Group Home, Brantwood and Toney Rest Home.

Total Hospitalized with COVID-19: 7

Total Deaths: 60
Community: 10
Central Regional: 1
Granville House: 2
Murdoch Development Center: 3
Universal Health Care: 22
Federal Prison: 22

Additional Information

The number of those who have been ‘released from isolation’ is determined by the CDC Guidance for discontinuation of isolation for persons with COVID-19.

Please visit GVPH’s COVID-19 Data Dashboard (click here) for tables and graphs that are updated daily.