Better Lighting Coming for Interstates and Major Highways Across North Carolina

RALEIGH – It will be a brighter drive along many interstates and major highways in North Carolina, as a result of a $30.8 million contract awarded by the N.C. Department of Transportation to upgrade more than 10,600 roadway light fixtures at more than 350 locations across the state.

In addition to improving lighting, the agreement with Trane U.S. Inc. and J. Brady Contracting Inc. will save the state money, as it is expected to result in more than $56 million in reduced electrical and maintenance costs over 15 years. That savings will primarily come from switching from existing high intensity roadway lights to longer-lasting and lower-maintenance LED lights.

Improvements are planned for lights along such interstates as I-95, I-40, I-77 and I-85, as well as I-440, I-540 and the Triangle Expressway in the Raleigh-Durham area, I-485 and I-277 in Charlotte, I-73/74 in the Triad, and I-240 and I-26 around Asheville. Several non-interstate highways around the state will also see lighting improvements.

The contract also calls for upgrading more than 12,000 building lights, including those at rest stops and visitor centers around the state, in addition to weigh stations and NCDOT county maintenance facilities.

The project includes the installation of a lighting and control system that will not only support the maintenance of the lights, but will also save and measure energy usage and lower costs.

Construction work is scheduled to start in September of 2017, with the initial locations still being determined. The light and equipment installation should wrap up in November 2018.


VGCC to offer Enrollment Day on June 29

Vance-Granville Community College will hold “Enrollment Day” on Thursday, June 29, from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m., at all four of its campuses.

During those extended hours, VGCC admissions, financial aid and advising staff members will be ready to assist anyone who is interested in enrolling at the college for the Fall 2017 semester, which starts on Aug. 14.

Students are encouraged to pre-register at

Refreshments and free VGCC t-shirts will be available for incoming students on Enrollment Day while supplies last.

VGCC’s Main Campus is located on Poplar Creek Road in Vance County (about midway between Henderson and Oxford) at the intersection with Interstate 85 (Exit 209).

The Franklin County Campus is located just west of Louisburg on N.C. 56.

South Campus is on N.C. 56 between Creedmoor and Butner.

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

Registration for classes at VGCC is ongoing, through Aug. 10. For more information on enrolling for the fall, call (252) 738-3234 or visit any campus.


Noted author salutes VGCC Adult Basic Skills graduates


Graduates of Vance-Granville Community College’s Adult Basic Skills programs were encouraged to adopt a can-do attitude and keep learning at their commencement exercises on May 4. The honorees were among those students who have completed either the Adult High School Diploma program or the High School Equivalency program in the past year.

The principal commencement speaker was Dr. Timothy B. Tyson, an award-winning author and Duke University professor who spent part of his childhood in Oxford and now resides in Durham. Tyson recalled that although he now holds a doctoral degree, he did not usually enjoy school as a child.

“I slowly began to withdraw from school,” Tyson said. “I went less and less, and I found other things to do. I dropped out of high school as a junior. I became a construction laborer and then a cook.” But a young woman he was dating, who was in graduate school, told him that he would like college, arguing that it was quite different from high school. “I started at a community college, where I found intellectual excitement and I did well, and then I transferred to UNC-Greensboro,” Tyson said. “I loved college. It was a place where independent thought and passion were rewarded.”

Over time, Tyson discovered more and more educational opportunities that he did not know existed. He encouraged the graduates not to limit themselves but to keep striving for more. “You’re not stuck in some place that your past performance has put you,” Tyson told them. “You can’t let anybody stop you and put you in a box. Keep looking forward and figure it out. There’s a way to do it. It’s not as though, if you took a wrong turn at the beginning, somehow you’re stuck in that groove. You can navigate this, and you can end up doing what God put you here to do.”

The author said he was “thrilled” to witness this “proud and important moment” for the graduating students. “Your education will affect yourself, your children and people who are yet unborn, but it’s not just about advancing yourself, it’s about lifting up everybody,” Tyson said. “Each of us, day to day, doing our own bit, can change the world and have changed the world.”

Speaking on behalf of the graduating students during the ceremony was Spencer Bojan Boyd of Oxford. Boyd completed the Adult High School Diploma program online. A native of Serbia, he was adopted at the age of six by a family in Johnston County, who later moved to Granville County. He was born without a right leg and with a distorted left leg, which was later amputated. “Throughout my journey, my friends and family, particularly my mother, have stuck by my side, supporting me, saying ‘yes, you can,’” Boyd said.

He said his mother’s insistence pushed him forward, so that now, “I am an adult high school graduate – yes, I am. To be clear, I didn’t become a graduate solely on my mother’s belief that I could. I’m an adult high school graduate because Vance-Granville Community College also believes in ‘Yes, you can.’” He said the online program allowed him flexibility and time to focus.

“Through its resources, VGCC has helped me graduate high school and is in the process of helping me into college,” he said. “By extending my education beyond high school, I will be able to discover new doors and opportunities.” Boyd recently enrolled in the College Transfer program at VGCC. He plans to complete two years at the college and then continue his education at a four-year university to study orthotics and prosthetics to help other amputees. “I hope to encourage, support and take care of those who are less fortunate than myself,” Boyd said. “I hope to use the tools that Vance-Granville provided in the future and really get a hold of my purpose in life.”

He concluded, “No matter what obstacle comes your way or how many hardships in life you face, you can turn the idea of ‘this is impossible; I can’t do this’ into ‘Yes, I can, and yes, I have!’ and the fact that I stand before you as a proud graduate is living proof. Mom, yes, I can. VGCC, yes, I can. Henderson, North Carolina, yes, I can. Serbia, yes, I can. The world, yes, I can.”

In welcoming remarks, VGCC Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Angela Ballentine congratulated the graduates. “You saw an opportunity to improve your life through education, and you seized that opportunity,” she said. Ballentine urged them to continue their education and invited them to meet with college faculty and staff at the conclusion of the ceremony. “This could be the first of many commencement exercises for you,” she said.

Following Tyson’s address, Dr. Stelfanie Williams, the president of VGCC, praised the graduates and applauded the Basic Skills faculty for preparing students to succeed. “Commencement, as you know, does not mean ‘an ending’ — it means ‘a beginning,’ and that is especially true for this occasion,” she told the graduates. As an extra incentive for graduates to begin their collegiate studies, Williams announced that each would receive a certificate worth free tuition and fees for one semester of courses in curriculum programs at VGCC, absorbing costs not covered by federal financial aid. “This certificate for tuition and fees is our way of saying ‘congratulations’ and ‘keep going,’” the president said.

After VGCC Adult Basic Skills department chair Greg Nash announced the candidates for graduation, Dr. Ballentine assisted President Williams in presenting diplomas.


Granville Relay Postponed Due to Weather

Due to the anticipated weather conditions on Friday, May 12th, the countywide Relay for Life event scheduled for the J.F. Webb High School track has been delayed to Saturday, May 20th .

The event will commence with the opening ceremony on Saturday, May 20th at 6:00 p.m. on the track. The events will conclude at 11:00 p.m. The county co-chairs, captains and team members thank you for your support and they hope to see you at the track on May 20, 6:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.

The survivors will meet in the cafeteria by 5:30 p.m.

Food, music, entertainment for young and old will be available.

Come join your friends, support the cure for cancer and walk a lap or more for good health.

Granville County Crime Stoppers May Report

TO:                           News Media

FROM:                    Granville County Crime Stoppers  

DATE:                     May 4th 2017



On Thursday, March 30th, 2017 during late evening hours an unknown person or persons unlawfully went upon the driveway of private property off Thad Carey Road, Stem, NC and criminally removed one Glock 19 pistol magazine, which was loaded with ammunition from the center console of a private owned vehicle.

On Sunday, April 9th, 2017 during early morning hours an unknown person or persons unlawfully went upon private property off Rivers Edge Road, Oxford, NC and criminally forced entry of a shop, which caused property damage to door and jam and unlawfully removed three (No. 10) 100 ft. extension cords (one yellow and two orange in color), and two (No. 12) 500 ft. rolls of copper wire.

On Wednesday, April 12th, 2017 during late evening hours an unknown person or persons unlawfully went upon private property of a residence located off Appaloosa Trail, Franklinton, NC, which was damaged by fire on March 11th, 2017 and criminally removed items from the property.

Sometime between December 2016 and Tuesday, April 18th, 2017 an unknown person or persons unlawfully went upon private property of a residence off Jack Clement Road, Oxford, NC and criminally removed an air conditioner unit.

Sometime between Wednesday, April 26th, 2017 late evening hours and Thursday, April 27th, 2017 early morning hours an unknown person or persons unlawfully went upon private property of Carroll’s Outdoor Power Equipment Sales and Service located off Roxboro Road, Oxford, NC and criminally cut a lock, which was on a “2016” Master Tow 6X8 ft. utility trailer, that is black in color with a wooden floor and lift gate on the back and removed trailer from the property.  The trailer has a registration number displayed on the left fender and silver wheels.

On Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017 during mid-morning hours an unknown person or persons unlawfully went upon private property of a residence off West Tom Parham Road and forced entry, which caused criminal property damage and removed a dresser drawer with numerous pieces of jewelry.

On Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017 between mid-morning and late evening hours an unknown person or persons unlawfully went upon private property of a residence off Indian Trail ,Oxford, NC and forced entry, which caused criminal property damage and unlawfully removed one 12 gauge Benelli Nova pump action shotgun and one 12 gauge Browning Lite automatic shotgun.

If you have information concerning this incident, please contact the Granville County Sheriff’s Office at 919-693-3213 or call Crime Stoppers 919-693-3100.


Oxford Prep Middle School jumps into Softball with an undefeated inaugural season

The Griffin’s Middle School softball team finished their inaugural season unbeaten.  “We are very proud of this team.  We go from not being certain if we have enough interest to actually have enough play, to having a history making season,” says Head coach Joe Don Cooper.  When Cooper and Assistant coach Eddie Blake opened try outs, they only had 12 young ladies interested in playing.  Coach Cooper remarked “this team is an example that overall great attitudes and work ethic breeds success.”

Plagued with some injuries early on, the Griffins adjusted quickly and blended inexperience with veteran softball players.  The coaches credit defense as a major factor for the success this season.  The defense was led by 8th grade standout Pitcher Jordan Dunn, as she partnered with 7th grade catcher Charly Cooper to create a very formidable battery.  Dunn only gave up an impressive 2 earned runs all season.   Solid and consistent play by veteran 8th grade players Emily Faucette, Claire Yancey, and offensive powerhouse Logan Privette (led the team in batting average) coupled with the effort and attitude of the cast of support players: Jaci Crute, Cayton Seivert, Averi Seivert, Ahlori Long, Laci Oettinger, Hallie Boone, and Ashlyn Roberson made for an incredible first season in Middle School softball.  Cooper stated “It’s really awesome to be a part of a team that when these girls look back 10 to 15 years from now when talking about Oxford Prep Softball, they can say ‘Hey, I was on the first ever middle school softball team there …and … We were undefeated!’”

The team finished 10 – 0 on the season and earned key victories against Falls Lake Academy and Vance CharterOxford Preparatory School will join the Central Carolina Middle School Conference, with local emerging rivals Falls Lake Academy and Vance Charter School.

VGCC registering students for summer Science Camp

Vance-Granville Community College will offer a Science Camp for local middle school students this summer at the college’s Main Campus in Vance County. The camp will be held Monday-Friday, June 12-16, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day.

Rising sixth, seventh and eighth-graders from Franklin, Granville, Vance and Warren counties are invited to participate in the week-long camp.

Sessions will be taught by faculty members from the VGCC Science Department and other college programs. The VGCC Science Camp is now in its seventh year. “We will have fun, hands-on activities that involve various sciences and allow campers to explore STEM career fields like electronics, pharmacy and biotechnology,” said VGCC Science Department Chair Steve McGrady. “Our outstanding VGCC faculty members collaborate each year to make this a learning experience that is unlike anything available in our four-county area.”

The cost to attend the camp is $125, which includes lunch each day and a camp T-shirt.

The deadline to register for Science Camp is May 12. Parents can now register their campers online at

For more information, contact Steve McGrady at (252) 738-3339 or [email protected]


Month of April Offers Multiple Local Opportunities to Donate Blood

RALEIGH, NC (April 3, 2017) – Eligible blood donors of all blood types are encouraged to give blood through the American Red Cross this spring to help ensure a sufficient supply for hospital patients.

Donated blood is perishable and must constantly be replenished to keep up with hospital patient need. Red blood cells are the blood component most frequently transfused by hospitals and must be used within 42 days of donation.

Eligible donors can give red blood cells through either a regular whole blood donation or a Power Red donation, where available. Power Red donors give a concentrated dose of red blood cells during a single donation, allowing them to maximize their impact. During this type of donation, red blood cells are separated from other blood components, and the plasma and platelets are safely and comfortably returned to the donor.

While donors of all blood types are encouraged to give blood, type O, A negative and B negative donors are urged to give Power Reds if they meet the additional eligibility criteria. Type O negative is the universal blood type and can be transfused to patients of any blood type in an emergency. Similarly, type O positive can be transfused to Rh-positive patients of any blood type. Types A negative and B negative can be transfused to Rh-positive or negative patients. Power Red donations help ensure a stable supply of these critical blood types.

Whole blood can be donated every 56 days, up to six times a year, and Power Red donations may be made every 112 days, up to three times per year.

Make an appointment to donate blood by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Upcoming blood donation opportunities:



4/21/2017: 12:30 p.m. – 5 p.m., Oxford Prepatory School, 6041 Landis Rd.



4/24/2017: 8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., Warren New Tech High School, 219 US Hwy 158 Bypasss

How to help

Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Blood donors can now save time at their next donation by using RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, prior to arriving at the blood drive. To get started and learn more, visit and follow the instructions on the site.

Volunteers needed

Volunteers are needed to support the lifesaving mission of the American Red Cross. There are opportunities now to become a volunteer transportation specialist or blood donor ambassador. Transportation specialists deliver lifesaving blood products to local area hospitals. Red Cross blood donor ambassadors greet and assist blood donors to ensure the donation process is a positive experience. Each role is critical to maintaining an ample blood supply for patients in need. For more information and to apply for a volunteer transportation specialist position, visit

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.


Masonic Home for Children Holds Strategic Planning Retreat

A Strategic Planning Retreat was held March 24-25 with almost 50 personnel, board members, alumni, community partners, and other stakeholders in attendance.

Friday evening’s activities included reflecting on MHCO’s past, sharing resident and staff experiences, discussing the current organizational profile, and analyzing where MHCO stands currently including internal strengths and weaknesses and external threats and opportunities for growth.

Saturday’s activities included envisioning the future and strategizing how to close the gap between MHCO’s operations in 2017 and vision for 2021.

Breakout groups revised the mission, vision, and quality statements and developed a new tagline. Goals, objectives, and initiatives were developed to enhance the sustainability of MHCO including utilization and stewardship of resources, community partnerships, and recruitment and retention of employees.

The strategic plan ideas will be compiled and discussed at the May meeting of the Board of Directors for feasibility and implementation.

This retreat was the first of many discussions about the bright and promising future of MHCO.

Thanks to all who attending!

Granville Little Theatre To Present Hello, Dolly!

Greetings beloved Patrons,

We are so excited to bring Hello Dolly to the stage for you!  Our opening night is this week on Friday.  We have been busy perfecting the show, locating a new venue, and making final plans for our awesome supporters!  …  Yes, I said locating a new venue.

Unfortunately, there was a conflict with the use of City Hall Auditorium.  However, the show must go on!!!  We will be performing Hello Dolly in the auditorium of Northern Granville Middle School at 3144 Webb School Road, Oxford, NC 27525.  The up side to our last minute venue change is that we can accommodate more than double the amount of patrons!  So, please help us get the word out!  We would love to have a packed house for all shows! We appreciate you all and can’t wait to see you at the show!!!

Warm Regards,
Cast and Crew of Hello Dolly and the GLT Board Members


Hello, Dolly!
March 24th – 25th & 31st – April 1st @ 7:30 p.m. and March 26th & April 2nd @ 2:30 p.m., 2017
School Shows: March 30th @ 9:00 a.m. & 12:30 p.m.

​Directed by: Kevin Holmes
Assistant Director: Ben Shelton
Music Director: Joey Humbert
Choreographer: Genianne Elliott
Technical Director: Channing Elliott
Stage Managers: Ann Lawrence-Holmes & Daniel Gierisch
Set Design: Rick Lue
Creative Consultant: Mitchell W Butts
Producer: Kim Pryor
​For Tickets go to: