Sergent, Yount Discuss Oxford’s Main Street Program, Downtown Growth

Oxford Mayor Jackie Sergent and Mary Yount, director of the Downtown Oxford Economic Development Corporation (DOEDC), were on Wednesday’s edition of WIZS’ Town Talk program to discuss recent growth and development in both the downtown area and in the city.

The City of Oxford, in partnership with the DOEDC, has been a North Carolina Main Street community since 1998; however, 2018 is the first year Oxford received National Main Street accreditation.

Accredited Main Street America programs display a commitment to preservation-based economic development and community revitalization using a four-point approach including, according to Yount, “organization, promotion, design and economic vitality.”

Additional criteria for accreditation include the creation and successful execution of a plan of action and the requirement of a full-time person committed to the implementation.

“We have to have partners and volunteers to make this happen,” said Yount. “DOEDC is a non-profit that works very closely with the City in creating these partnerships with downtown businesses, Granville’s health systems, the County, libraries, museums, etc.”

Volunteer hours are also vital to the sustainability of the downtown area. “This past year, the Downtown Oxford Main Street program reported, as part of our statistics, that we had over 4,200 hours served by volunteers.”

By being a part of the Main Street program, the City of Oxford is eligible to receive additional funding by way of grants and loans and gains access to expert advice at the national, state and local level.

“For the cost of paying their mileage to come to Oxford to work with us [the Main Street program team] came on three separate occasions to facilitate a strategic planning session,” said Sergent. “Often times, it takes someone who really knows what they’re doing to help guide all the volunteers that have come to the table through the process. The NC Main Street program was critical in our coming together with a very solid plan.”

In addition to the funding available through the Main Street program and local government, Sergent credits the municipal service tax with helping the downtown area thrive.

“We have a municipal service tax district in downtown, agreed upon by the downtown vendors. That is an additional property tax that helps provide seed money to the DOEDC. That is part of what helps pay for the activities that go on in downtown,” said Sergent.

When questioned if the downtown area and Oxford as a whole are ready for expected population growth in the future, Sergent replied, “I think we’re tremendously ready!”

Sergent emphasized that the City’s recent acquisition of approximately $40 million in a combination of grants and low-interest loans puts Oxford well on its way to successfully implementing the $94 million infrastructure master plan. The $40 million is currently earmarked for water and wastewater infrastructure.

Sergent also said Oxford’s commitment to preparing for growth is evident in the recent decision by the City Commissioners to annex approximately 88 acres of land with an additional 44 acres to be discussed at their next monthly meeting in December.

“I think Oxford is really poised to handle the growth and development coming our way.”

To hear the interview in its entirety, please click here.

Leslie to Speak at Chamber’s Annual Banquet, Citizen of the Year Nominees Needed

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

The Chamber’s Board of Directors is pleased to announce that the 2019 speaker and entertainer for the annual banquet is Bill Leslie, an award-winning journalist and internationally acclaimed musician and composer. He retired from the anchor desk in 2018 after 34 years at WRAL-TV.

Leslie’s award-winning documentaries, his talents as “one of the greats in modern Celtic music,” and a popular storyteller and author are expected to draw a very large attendance for the Chamber’s 77th Annual Banquet in January.

The Granville County Chamber of Commerce’s Recognition Committee announces that the committee is accepting nominations for the 2019 John Penn Citizen of the Year Award.  This prestigious award, named for Granville County’s signer of the Declaration of Independence, is presented at the Chamber’s Annual Membership Banquet. The 2019 event will be held Monday, January 28, 2019, in the Civic Center at Vance-Granville Community College.

Nomination forms may be obtained at a Chamber office or may be downloaded from the Chamber’s website,

This award was designed to recognize a person(s) for outstanding service to the community. Past recipients include Dr. Joseph Colson, Mrs. Robinette Husketh, Hubert Gooch, Rev. G. C. Hawley, Mrs. Gladys Satterwhite, Hugh Currin, Sr., Rev. Harrison Simons, Tom Speed, John Mackie, Dr. Roy Noblin, Dr. David Noel, John K. Nelms, J. J. Medford, Mrs. Mildred A. Jenkins, Tom Johnson, Mrs. Virginia Tuck, L. Clement Yancey, Mrs. Nancy W. Darden, Leonard M. Dunn, Mrs. Carlene Fletcher, Hubert L. Cox, Leonard Peace, Sr., Marshall Tanner, Harold Sherman, Boyce Harvey Paul Kiesow, Ms. Johnsie Cunningham, Stan Fox, Doan and Bette Laursen, Dr. John B. Hardy, Jr., L. C. Adcock, Jim Crawford, Xavier Wortham, Dr. Richard and Julia Ann Taylor, Gary Bowman, James “Lump” and Mary Ann Lumpkins and Laura Gable.

Nominations are due Wednesday, January 2, 2019.

Formal invitations will be mailed to Chamber members.  Persons interested in attending may contact one of the Chamber’s offices – [email protected], 919.693.6125; [email protected], 919.528.4994.

Granville Co. Public Schools to Host School Safety Summit

-Information courtesy Dr. Stan Winborne, Public Information Officer, Granville County Public Schools

You are invited to a “School Safety Summit” to be held in the Northern Granville Middle School auditorium – 3144 Webb School Rd., Oxford – on Thursday, November 15 at 6 p.m.

Join Granville County Public Schools staff, law enforcement and elected officials as we discuss what is being done to keep our schools safe.

The event is open to the public. Submit your comments in advance by clicking here.


Granville Co. Fall ‘Clean Out’ scheduled for Nov. 17

-Press Release, County of Granville

The county-wide fall recycling event will be held on Saturday, Nov. 17 from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Granville County’s Expo and Convention Center. This annual “clean out” offers an opportunity for residents to rid themselves of items that can be collected for recycling or properly disposed of in one convenient location. On site will be the N.C. Department of Agriculture, Veolia, TT&E Metals, the Granville County Sheriff’s Office and other organizations and agencies.

Items accepted – during these hours only – include paint, household cleaners, old gasoline, drain cleaners, household batteries, pesticides, weed killers, computers, electronic devices, telephones, outdated prescriptions, inhalers, diabetic supplies, ammunition, flares, broken appliances, junk lawnmowers and many other items that are no longer used or needed.*

This annual event has been taking place for the past six years and occurs every November as a way to dispose of materials that cannot go into the landfill or regular trash.  Since there is currently no other means of collecting these hazardous materials at other sites, this has proven to be a successful way to keep them out of the environment each year.

“Residents have seemed appreciative of the opportunity to dispose of such hazards properly,” said the county’s Recycle Coordinator Teresa Baker. “Keeping such toxins out of our soil and water supply is of the utmost importance to me, and having the resources to be able to collect and handle these items properly should make everyone proud to be a responsible citizen of Granville County.”

Also on site will be the Granville County Humane Society, accepting donations of dog and cat food, leashes and collars, crates, pet beds, towels and kitty litter.

The Granville County Expo and Convention Center is located at 4185 US Highway 15 in Oxford. For more information about this event, contact Baker by phone at 919-725-1417 or by email at [email protected]

*Not all household items will be accepted. The agencies on-site reserve the right to refuse certain materials.

Granville County Library to Host Folklore Author Sharyn McCrumb

-Press Release, County of Granville

 New York Times’ best-selling author Sharyn McCrumb will make a special presentation at the Richard H. Thornton Library in Oxford on Thursday, November 15 at 5:30 p.m.

Best known for her Appalachian “ballad novels” set in the North Carolina/Tennessee mountains, McCrumb’s body of work includes “She Walks These Hills,” “The Rosewood Casket,” “The Songcatcher” and “Ghost Riders,” as well as “The Ballad of Tom Dooley” and “King’s Mountain,” which take place in North Carolina. Her most current novels include “Prayers the Devil Answers,” the story of the last public hanging ever carried out in the United States, and “The Unquiet Grave,” the story of West Virginia’s Greenbrier Ghost.

New York Times’ best-selling author Sharyn McCrumb will make a special presentation at the Richard H. Thornton Library in Oxford on Thursday, November 15 at 5:30 p.m. (Photo courtesy the County of Granville)

“I find that the more I write, the more fascinated I become with the idea of the land as an intricate element in the lives of mountain people, and of the past as prologue for any contemporary narrative,” McCrumb has said of her work. “This connection to the land is personal as well as thematic.”

Awards and honors McCrumb has garnered include the Patricia Winn Award for Southern Fiction from the Clarksville/Montgomery County Arts and Heritage Council of Clarksville, TN; the Mary Frances Hobson Prize for Southern Literature by North Carolina’s Chowan University; the Achievement in Literature Award from the Edward Buncombe Chapter of the N.C. Daughters of the American Revolution; and the Perry F. Kendig Award for Literary Arts from Blue Ridge Arts Council of southwest Virginia, as well as other prestigious recognitions. In 2006, McCrumb was named the winner of the Book of the Year Award from the Appalachian Writers Association.

McCrumb’s work has been studied in universities around the world and her novels have been translated into eleven languages. She has lectured at Oxford University, the University of Bonn-Germany and at the Smithsonian Institution, as well as teaching a writers’ workshop in Paris.

The author will be discussing these award-winning Appalachian “ballad novels,” as well as her other books, during this presentation. The Richard H. Thornton Library is located at 210 Main Street in Oxford. For more information, contact the library at 919-693-1121 or visit

Granville Co. Animal Control Confirms 12th Case of Rabies

-Press Release, County of Granville

Granville County Animal Control reports the pickup of two wild animals in the past several days which tested positive for rabies.

The first case involved the pickup of a raccoon on Nov. 1 near the intersection of Tump Wilkins Road and Piney Creek Lane. Once the rabies test was confirmed, notices were provided to residents of that area. While there was no exposure to people in this incident, there are feral cats located in this vicinity. Animal Control has been coordinating with Granville Vance Public Health and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services to determine actions to be taken regarding the feral cats in that area, as well as their possible exposure.

The second rabies case (skunk) was reported on Nov. 6, with the animal being collected near the intersection of Old Roxboro Road and Walnut Creek Road in Oxford. Animal Control officers have provided notices to nearby residents about this incident.

According to Granville County’s Animal Management Director Matt Katz, a dozen confirmed rabid animals have been reported so far this year.

North Carolina law (NCGS 130-A-185) requires that all owned dogs, cats and ferrets be vaccinated for rabies by four months of age and that all rabies vaccinations be kept current. Katz offers a reminder that the Granville County Animal Shelter provides one-year rabies vaccinations for only $6, and that one shot is not enough. If any pet owner is unsure as to when their animals need rabies booster shots, they are asked to contact their local veterinarian. Residents are also urged to stay away from wild animals, as they may be rabid or carry additional diseases.

The Granville County Animal Shelter is located at 5650 Cornwall Road in Oxford and is open to administer rabies vaccines Monday through Friday from noon until 4:30 p.m. For more information, call the Shelter at 919-693-6749.

Oxford Board’s Nov. Meeting to Include Public Hearing on Annexation

-Information courtesy Cynthia Bowen, City Clerk, City of Oxford

The City of Oxford Board of Commissioners will hold their regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, November 13, 2018, at 7 p.m. in the Commissioners’ Board Room, City Hall.

Among the agenda items:

Public Hearing for voluntary contiguous annexation of 37.703 acres of land at 525 New Commerce Drive Oxford.

Consider adopting the voluntary contiguous annexation ordinance of 37.703 acres of land at 525 New Commerce Drive Oxford.

Call for a public hearing to be held on December 11, 2018, for the rezoning request of 5015 Highway 96 of the approximately 44-acre parcel from R-A (Agriculture) to R-8 (1 & 2 family residential).

Consider approving a budget amendment and accept a donation to the Historic Preservation Commission.

Grant limited power of attorney to Sherry L. Cottrell.

Approve reappointment of City Manager Alan Thornton to the Granville County Tourism Development Authority.

Reminder: Annual Granville Co. Veterans Day Parade Sun., Nov. 4

-Information courtesy the Granville County Tourism Development Authority 

The Annual Granville County Veterans Day Parade will be held in Downtown Oxford, NC on Sunday, November 4, 2018. Bring your flags and support your veterans!

Line up for the parade will start at 2 p.m. on Belle Street and continue onto Spring Street. The parade will begin at 3 p.m. sharp! The parade will start at CVS and will travel up Williamsboro Street and right onto College St. and will end at the Oxford Fire Department.

(This is not a paid advertisement; however, Granville County Tourism is a sponsor of

Pictured: Veterans participate in Granville County’s 2015 Veteran’s Day Parade. (Photo Credit: Granville County Tourism Development Authority)

Applications Now Accepted for Oxford Lighting of Greens & Christmas Parade

-Information courtesy the City of Oxford website

Oxford’s 13th Annual Lighting of Greens and Christmas Parade will be held Friday, December 7, 2018, from 4 – 8:30 p.m. This year’s events are presented by the Downtown Oxford Economic Development Corporation in partnership with the City of Oxford and Granville Health Systems.

The parade will take place rain, shine, snow and/or cold temperatures, so please plan accordingly.

Event Schedule:

4 – 6:30 p.m ~  Vendor Market opens

6:30 – 6:45 p.m. ~ Welcome and opening comments

6:45 – 6:50 p.m. ~ Lighting of the Greens

7 p.m. ~ Parade starts

Parade line up information:

The parade line up will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Belle Street and will continue down to Spring Street. Any parade participant not in assigned numbered space by 6:30 p.m. will be placed at the end of the parade. To ensure the safety of all participants, please keep your group along the right side of Belle and Spring Streets.

The parade will start from Belle and travel down Williamsboro – Hillsboro and end by taking a right into Friendly Village Shopping Center. Floats, walking-marching groups and individual cars will disembark at the Public Works Parking Lot. There will be no parking in the Public Works parking lot (127 Penn Avenue) the evening of the event. Parents will need to walk to the Public Works Parking to retrieve any participants in the parade.

The Oxford parade draws approximately 1,200 local citizens ready to experience the holiday spirit each year. Make plans now to be a part of this special holiday tradition in Downtown Oxford. We are asking participating groups to incorporate the theme of this year’s holiday season – “Oxford, Snow Place Like Home” – into the planning of parade entry and performances.

Applications for interested participants are now being accepted. For additional information and application for parade entry, click here. For the holiday open market vendor application, click here.

Reminder: Downtown Oxford Trick-or-Treating & Movie Night

Information courtesy the City of Oxford website 

Downtown Oxford Trick or Treating will be held Wednesday, October 31, 2018, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. with city-wide Trick or Treating from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

From 5:30 to 6 p.m. there will be a Glow Party with glowing items in the City Hall Auditorium. The movie “Coco” will begin at 6 p.m.

Children ages 12 and under only and in costume, please!