Granville Chamber wants your participation


Participants are requested for the upcoming Leadership Granville program, which will begin mid-September and end with graduation mid-April.  Individuals with a sincere and genuine interest in future service to the community and those who have demonstrated commitment by previous community activities are encouraged to apply.  Also, individuals interested in assuming leadership positions within their organization and/or community should apply.

The program consists of approximately twenty sessions, most of which are evening.  Session highlights include:  leadership assessment and development, personal and group dynamics, county history, city-county-state governments, education, the arts, agriculture, economics-industry-small business, health services and volunteer agencies, human services, community support, tourism, judiciary and law enforcement, visiting manufacturers, farm, industries, businesses, etc.

Sponsored by the Granville County Chamber of Commerce, Granville County Schools and Vance-Granville Community College, Leadership Granville offers citizens of Granville County the opportunity to acquire knowledge of the community and develop their leadership potential.  It offers new citizens an opportunity to become personally and professionally acquainted with county structure and life, which can benefit their present and future leadership.

Interested individuals should contact one of the Chamber’s office locations – 124 Hillsboro Street in Oxford/Wanda, 919.693.6125,  or 1598 Highway #56, Butner/Toni Anne, 919.528.4994,

Monday Morning Pick-Me-Up with Java Dave’s

Java Dave’s Coffee and Internet Cafe and WIZS have teamed up for another new contest. Every Monday morning, Java Dave’s and WIZS will be traveling to a local business to reward employees for working hard (and showing up on time). Java Dave’s Coffee and Internet Cafe will supply free coffee and some type of treat, and WIZS will bring t-shirts.

The third Java Dave’s Monday Morning Pick-Me-Up winners were Sandling Golfcars & Trailers and Perry Brothers Auto Service of Oxford. Employees were treated to free coffee and Java Dave’s signature cinnamon rolls.

Who knows where Java Dave and WIZS will be next week.

To nominate your business just submit an email to, and who knows, Java Dave and WIZS might get your Monday off to a good start!

VGCC Students inducted into Honor Society

Vance-Granville Community College recognized 55 students who were inducted into Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for students of two-year colleges, on April 19 in the Civic Center on the college’s Main Campus. VGCC students honored with induction into Phi Theta Kappa must have a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.5 (3.75 for part-time students) in associate degree curriculum programs and have completed at least 12 credit hours toward their degrees.

As advisors for VGCC’s PTK chapter, instructors Dan Miller, Isaac Talley and Maureen Walters conducted the ceremony. Walters, the head advisor, told the new inductees and their families and friends in attendance that since VGCC’s chapter of PTK, “Alpha Sigma Chi,” was chartered in 1991, more than 1,900 students have been selected for induction. She said that while scholarship is the first aim of PTK, the society also encourages fellowship, leadership development and service to others, and she noted that the letters Phi Theta Kappa stand for the Greek words for “Wisdom,” “Aspiration” and “Purity.”

The ceremony featured remarks from a student, Dianna DeWeese of Creedmoor, who serves as chapter president. DeWeese lauded the chapter’s new inductees on their hard work and the wise choices they had made that led to their academic success. “Scholarship is more than just getting good grades,” DeWeese said. “It is a lifelong love of learning.”

Serving as guest speaker for the ceremony was Jackie Sergent, the mayor of Oxford and retired Health Education Supervisor for the Granville-Vance District Health Department. Sergent congratulated the college on the 25th anniversary of its Phi Theta Kappa chapter and remarked that “we are blessed to have Vance-Granville Community College in our area.” She added her words of congratulations to the honored students on their success, which was “not only in your achievements but in the journey you took to get here,” she said. “Our personal growth depends more upon the struggle than the reward.” Sergent noted that many students juggle jobs and other responsibilities in addition to their studies. “Because of your academic excellence, you are in a position to continue on the path to being a leader in your community,” the mayor told the students.

This year’s inductees into the Alpha Sigma Chi chapter of Phi Theta Kappa are:


From Franklin County

Ashleigh Ray of Bunn;

Jasmine Blacknall, Anita Fuller, Pamela Swanson, Benjamin Taylor and Heather Taylor, all of Franklinton;

Adair Avila Soria, Cassidy Hinkle, H’Kera Ktul, Allison Leonard, Kelly Persinger and Kevin Tart, all of Louisburg;

Katrina Hodges, Stephanie Hommel, Lisa Sullivan and Christopher Worner, all of Youngsville.


From Granville County

Kaleb Williamson of Bullock;

William Unger of Butner;

Dylan Breedlove and Anna Tilley, both of Creedmoor;

Loren McCuiston of Franklinton;

Kristy Ball, Pamela Barker, Angelica Bridges, Schnail Bynum-Daniel, Doris Cable, Amy Greene, Ashley McEntee, Lane Phipps, Meghan Rossi and Thomas Thompson, all of Oxford;

Randy Bullock and Kevin Rumsey, both of Stem.


From Vance County

Donnie Ayscue, Jennifer Burns, Mary Elberson, Emory Gant-Hawkins, Harli Sams, Jakayla Thorpe and Hayya Wright, all of Henderson.


From Warren County

Marshella Ashby and Pamela Campbell, both of Littleton;

Shawn Miles of Manson;

Joseph Lambertz and Melissa Tucker, both of Norlina;

Meri Blake and Jamisha Twitty, both of Warrenton.


From Wake County

Lauren Dorn, Lori Eitel and Haley Watkins, all of Wake Forest;

Donna Pearce of Zebulon.


From other counties

Trevor Houston and Jessica Huffman, both of Durham;

Maria Govea and James Lea, both of Roxboro.

VGCC to offer Private Pilot Ground School

Vance-Granville Community College will soon offer a course that prepares area residents to take flight with a private pilot’s license.

The Private Pilot Ground School is scheduled to be held on VGCC’s South Campus, located between Creedmoor and Butner, on Wednesday evenings from 6:30 until 9:30 p.m., May 18 through July 27. In this course, students gain the knowledge they will need to take the FAA private pilot written exam, under FAA-certified flight instructors from Blue Line Aviation. Students who complete the course will also receive a discount on an introductory flight lesson with Blue Line.

The instructor, Blue Line Aviation president Charles “Trey” Walters of Wake Forest, has deep connections to VGCC, even though this is his first time teaching the course in partnership with the college. His grandmother, Reba Walters, was a VGCC Nursing instructor. His father, Ray Walters (who is also a longtime pilot), taught business classes at VGCC after retiring from SAS in Cary.

Trey Walters took VGCC criminal justice courses through a dual-enrollment program while in high school. After graduating from high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force Reserve. He also served in the Civil Air Patrol, and was awarded the Billy Mitchell Award for becoming a cadet officer. During his career in the Air Force Reserve, Walters was a member of the Security Forces, which included duties in the military police with some air base defense functions. He served a six month deployment to Iraq.

Walters continued taking online courses at VGCC while serving in the Air Force, even while in Iraq. When his tour of duty ended, he went back to classes at the Main Campus, became a Raleigh police officer and then completed his VGCC Criminal Justice degree after taking additional online courses.

Simultaneously, Walters continued to work on pilot training. He started flight training when he was 13. His first solo flight was on his 16th birthday, and he obtained his private pilot license when he was 17. He flew recreationally until 2011, when he decided to get more advanced certifications. Walters earned his Commercial Pilot license, Flight Instructor license, Instrument Instructor license, Commercial Multi-Engine license, and multi-engine instructor licenses in 2012.

In August of 2012, he founded Blue Line Aviation with his wife, Kelsey. The business grew rapidly, leading Walters to resign from the Raleigh Police Department to work there full-time in early 2013. Walters also rejoined the Civil Air Patrol in 2014. Currently, he serves as a Captain in the Raleigh Unit. He volunteers as a search and rescue mission pilot, instructor pilot and check pilot. “I believe that using our resources to give back and make a positive difference in the world is one of our most important duties as Americans,” Walters said. He is excited about the new venture with VGCC.

“There is a huge demand for pilots, mechanics, air traffic controllers, and training for drone operators. Through our partnership, we can build the programs and infrastructure to fill those jobs by veterans and members of the local community,” he said.

The cost of the Private Pilot Ground School, including all materials, is $280.

“We are excited about having a private pilot ground school here at VGCC, which is advantageously located near several airports,” said VGCC Personal Enrichment Coordinator Gail Clark. “Our partnership with Blue Line Aviation gives us the opportunity to offer this program and help students move to the next level with a team.”

The deadline to register for this class is May 17. Prospective students can register online at or in person at Main Campus (in Henderson), Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For more information, contact Gail Clark at (252) 738-3385 or

Butner-Stem Elementary Google EXPEDITIONS @GCPSchools

Butner-Stem Elementary School Participates in Google EXPEDITIONS Pioneer Program

Students at Butner-Stem Elementary School are taking part in a pioneer program from Google, called Expeditions.  Butner-Stem Elementary teachers, Carolyn Vickers, a 4th grade teacher and Teacher Technology Leader and Shannon Norton, a 5th grade teacher, signed up for this program.  The program allows students to take virtual “Expeditions” around the world, using Google Cardboard and a mobile device.  On Monday, March 21st,  a Google expedition team member, Brendan Dermody, came to show the teachers and classes how Google Cardboard can take them to places they could not otherwise visit. The Google representative indicated that high interest is what brought the program to Butner-Stem Elementary.GCS Butner-Stem Google Expedition 2016

The fifth grade classes visited monuments around the United States just before they take a field trip to Washington, D.C.  Fourth grade classes visited the moon and some went to the Galapagos Islands and explored under the sea.  Third grade classes explored exciting places around the world like Thailand, Antarctica, and Egypt.

The teachers guided the tours with an iPad as helpful facts are presented on their screen, meanwhile the students see the location through the cardboard viewers in a 3D virtual world. Students learn about the world while seeing it virtually. It is the next best thing to being there. Students were engaged and excited to be going on these virtual tours from their classrooms. The excitement was contagious.  Besides the constant “Oohhs” and “Aahhs”, we overheard one student shout, “I can’t believe my eyes!”.

Expeditions, a virtual reality platform built for the classroom,  are guided tours of places school buses can’t go.  They are comprised of virtual reality panoramas, which are led by a guide or teacher.  Using a tablet, teachers can guide up to 50 students wearing virtual reality viewers. Teachers can guide their class and point out highlights while referring to editable notes.

Google worked with teachers and content partners from around the world to create more than 100 engaging journeys – making it easy to immerse students in entirely new experiences.

Expeditions teams visit selected schools around the world, including the United States, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Canada, Singapore, Denmark and Mexico. Each team brings a complete Expeditions kit with everything the teachers need to take their students on journeys anywhere. The team or representative shows teachers how Expeditions works and helps set it up before class.

(Information received in a press release from Stan Winborne, Ed.S., Director of High Schools, Director of Career & Technical Education Program, Public Information Officer with Granville County Schools.)


Orange County Speedway Media Day 2016 Press Release

Welcome to Orange County Speedway. We are starting our 10th season under the current management, and are pleased to announce exciting renovations that are underway. The main office is being renovated as well as the souvenir stand. OCS will have a new walk-in souvenir stand to offer fans the opportunity to have easy access to touch and feel the products they may want to purchase. We will also be offering a better selection of merchandise to appeal to all ages.

Track owner Melvin Stanley, and Operations Manager, Terry Deal, are making several upgrades to the track to make it a place where fans will have the most enjoyable experience and competitors will appreciate and enjoy their experience as well. “We want to make it a place enjoyable for everyone and a place where everyone will want to return,” said Deal.

Many local favorites are returning in 2016, such as 2014 Late Model Champion Chris Denny. Former champions Chuck Lawson and Terry Dease will throw their hat into the mix in 2016. Also returning is former Late Model competitor Tripp Massengill. Defending champion Craig Moore will be making periodic appearances throughout 2016, along with Layne Riggs.

Chris Elliott, Daniel Schadt, Dennis Sargent, Daryl Carver, and the Gray brothers are just a few names which will be running in the Limited Sportsman division. Defending Street Stock champion Jared Gillis will be returning to run for another Street Stock championship. Other Street Stock notables are the Purnell brothers and Jeffrey Martin, who is moving up from Super Mini Trucks, along with local favorite Scoot Hayden.

The Pure Stock and Super Mini Truck classes are growing and Orange County Speedway is expecting new competitors from Virginia and North Carolina. Danny Winstead has announced that he will be defending his Pure Stock title.

OCS is pleased to announce that the Modified Four Cylinder division will be running seven races this year with series sponsorship from Smokey Dave’s BBQ.

We are also running an open-wheel modified division with series sponsorship to be announced soon.

With new divisions, sponsorships, staff members, competitors, and renovations, everyone at OCS is excited about the 2016 season.

The first race of 2016 for Orange County Speedway is this Saturday, April 9th. Qualifying begins at five, and the first race begins at seven.

AT&T sponsors new VGCC Summer Bridge program

AT&T North Carolina has made a $10,000 contribution to Vance-Granville Community College to support a new student success initiative. For the first time, the college will offer a “Summer Bridge” program this year for incoming first-year students. With AT&T’s sponsorship, the program will be available at no cost to participating students.

“Thanks to the strong support of AT&T North Carolina, in a few months, our faculty and staff will be able to offer some extra help to students to prepare them to succeed as scholars at the college level,” said Dr. Stelfanie Williams, the president of VGCC.

Robert Doreauk, AT&T’s regional director of external affairs, formally presented the donation in February at a luncheon honoring donors to the college, held at the Masonic Home for Children in Oxford.

“We understand that there is no better way to make a lasting difference in a community than by helping support the education of its young people,” Doreauk said. “Through our signature philanthropic initiative, AT&T Aspire, we support opportunities to foster skills that will meet the needs of the future workforce while helping all students make their biggest dreams a reality. We appreciate the opportunity to support the Summer Bridge program and are excited about the impact it will have on students’ lives and futures.”

VGCC Dean of Arts and Sciences Cynthia Young explained that Summer Bridge will be a comprehensive, two-week program with two overarching themes. “The first theme is providing targeted support, supplemental instruction and skill-building to help students accelerate their pathway from developmental education to regular curriculum courses,” Young said.

Most VGCC students take placement tests as part of the admissions process to evaluate their current skills in reading, writing and mathematics. Placement test scores are used for academic advising and correct course placement. Students may be placed in a developmental math course, for example, to build math skills before moving on to more challenging college courses that are required for diploma and degree programs.

“The second theme of the program is college readiness,” Young said. “Students will participate in orientation and meet with faculty from various curriculum programs so that they understand the opportunities that are available to them here at Vance-Granville. In addition, our coaches from the Student Success Center will help students in the program to create academic plans in line with their career goals.” Young said that the program will serve North Carolina residents who are high school or high school equivalency graduates, are entering VGCC for the first time, and have placed into developmental education.

“We are excited about introducing this program,” said Young. “It will give students more tools to be successful.”

The Summer Bridge initiative is being developed as Dr. Williams and other college leaders across the country are increasingly focused on bringing students up to speed quickly, so that they can start their college-level coursework earlier and graduate on schedule. According to a new report from the Center for Community College Student Engagement, 86 percent of students nationwide believe they are academically prepared to succeed in college, but 67 percent test into developmental coursework.

For more information on the Summer Bridge program, contact Cynthia Young at or (252) 738-3424.

Granville Sheriff asks for your help

Granville County Sheriff’s Office needs your help in locating Kenneth “Buddy” McIlhenny last known address of Grassy Creek Rd. He has outstanding warrants for Felony Larceny, Obtaining Property by False Pretense and Larceny of a Firearm. If you have information regarding his whereabouts please contact 911 or Granville County Sheriff’s Office at 919-693-3213.