TownTalk: Bishop Works To Help The Next Generation Of Law Enforcement Officers

Brandon Bishop wants to make sure that the cadets in the basic law enforcement training classes he oversees understand some key concepts about what it means to be a police officer.

Bishop wants the officers-in-training to have the communication tools they need in order to avoid having to use a weapon or other means of force when they’re on duty.

As director of Basic Law Enforcement Training and Law Enforcement Training at Vance-Granville Community College, he brings the experience of almost two decades in uniform with the Henderson Police Department. He was a lieutenant for six years and he holds a degree in social work.

Bishop is implementing some of those “soft” skills into the BLET classes, including courses like “Duty to Intercede,” “Surviving Verbal Conflict,” and “Facilitating Mental Health Training.”

He described the program on Tuesday’s Town Talk with John C. Rose and said tomorrow’s law enforcement officers must be able to interact with citizens – it’s important to be able to talk to people, get to know them and understand them. Basic communication skills are a must-have to achieve the goal, he said.

Most folks who pursue law enforcement as a career are service-oriented people, he said. Helping people and helping to make a difference in their communities are just part of a profession that provides “the integrity and status they’re looking for,” Bishop said.

Obviously, police officers are charged with enforcing the law, but through effective communication, law enforcement officers also can help people make good choices.

(VGCC PHOTO) – VGCC Basic Law Enforcement Training Class 112 graduates included, in front (from left), Jose Angel Deleon and Jennifer Quick; and in back (from left), Reed Danehy, Kameron Gregory, Regina Andranowska and LeDrevion Richardson; not pictured: Kaleb Evans

“We try to get them to understand that we all need to get along,” Bishop said. “The best way to do that is to help each other through our problems. I try to teach our cadets that we’re more there to help people solve their problems than to solve them for them.”

It’s not all theory and lecture in the program, Bishop said. The cadets use a firearms simulator, which he describes as a giant, 3-D video game, that trains cadets and agency officers in the use of force options. It’s a way to reinforce what they’ve learned in the classroom about communication, which can de-escalate a situation before it gets out of hand. The goal is “to alleviate our use of force incidents and injury to officers and others they are dealing with,” Bishop said. It gives cadets a chance to see exactly what they may face on the street.

Similarly, a driver training simulator allows for cadets and experienced officers as well the chance to get initial training or a refresher on driving vehicles to avoid obstacles all the way to driving in pursuit or other emergency situations. “It’s as close to real-life situations as possible, without the inherent dangers,” Bishop said.

During his time with the Henderson department, he was primarily assigned to the patrol division. He also was a supervisor for the Street Crime unit and the interdiction team and spent 15 years on the department’s tactical team – a team he helped to create and on which he worked all positions, including team commander.

And now, he’s helping guide cadets and prepare the next generation of law enforcement officers to deal effectively with the communities they will serve and protect.

“It’s a challenging career, but it’s a rewarding career,” he said.

The next class is scheduled to begin Jan. 18, 2022 and will wrap up in mid-May. Interested in learning more? Contact Bishop at or phone 919.738.3263. Visit to see more about the BLET program.

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TownTalk: Monahan Talks Nuts, Chips And Popcorn

Snack lovers have an opportunity to grab a new brand of peanut from a couple with a long history in the industry.

Carol and John Monahan have launched 1949 Nut Co. and are teaming up with their son, Josh, and his 1in6 Snacks to get their yummy treats into the hands – and tummies – of peanut fans everywhere.

Carol Monahan talked with John C. Rose on Monday’s Town Talk and said she and husband John are enjoying working for – and with – their son.

The 1949 Nut Co. will have a pop-up sale on Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Josh’s 1in6 Snacks’ distribution center at 2725 Raleigh Road.

Featured will be the peanuts and popcorn, both of which come in a variety of flavors – from traditional and tame to wild and zesty, she said. The weekly pop-up store will continue on Wednesdays through Christmas at the Raleigh Road distribution center.

“Our family is super excited to continue our relationship with folks here in Vance County,” Carol Monahan said. She and her husband brought The Peanut Roaster to Henderson back in 1995, and the recent sale left them with some time on their hands. So they launched The 1949 Nut Co. as a nod to John’s father, Larry “Daddy-O” Monahan.

He’s the one who, in 1949, started cooking Virginia peanuts at his Wakefield, VA restaurant. But because he first soaked them in water, they didn’t absorb the oil they were fried in. They’re using the same technique to create these peanuts, she said. “Folks just love it, and we’re glad that they do.”

The popcorn gift packs feature five flavors – butter, cinnamon, dill pickle, Buffalo and light and fit – and will be available at the Wednesday pop-up event, she said.

If you’ve ever purchased the Carolina Kettle brand of potato chip, you’ve purchased a product created by Josh Monahan. He was a junior studying agriculture at N.C. State University when he learned that one in six people didn’t know where their next meal was coming from. The 2017 N.C. State graduate donates money to the Food Bank of North Carolina for every bag sold – a nickel for a small bag and a dime for a large bag, his mom said. So far, that number is $150,000. And climbing. He’s one of the food bank’s largest donors.

Josh grew up in the peanut industry, helping his parents after school and during the summer. “He wanted to stay in that (ag) field,” she said, “but he wanted to look around and see what was going on around him.” He also wanted to make a difference, she said. And 1in6 Snacks was born. The chips came first, followed by Pine State Popcorn. There are other products in the 1in6 line, but the pop-up store will concentrate on the peanuts and popcorn.

She and her husband are “very, very proud” of their son’s success thus far. And when they ended their association with The Peanut Roaster back in July, they decided that they would put their product line under the 1in6 umbrella.

“We’re putting a great local product out here in Vance County and the surrounding area,” she said. One can of peanuts at the time.


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TownTalk: Holiday Happenings In Granville County

‘Tis the season for Christmas parades, chats with Santa, and holiday shopping. Granville County is gearing up for events all across the county, and Granville Tourism Director Angela Allen said there’s something for everyone, from Creedmoor to Grassy Creek and everywhere in between.

Allen spoke with John C. Rose and Bill Harris on Wednesday’s Town Talk and rattled off a list of  events sure to keep folks entertained while getting into the Christmas spirit.

Here’s a rundown of activities and events:

  • Nov. 19-20 – 12 noon to 6 p.m. – The Barn at Vino will host Jimbo’s Fall Backyard Barbecue Competition fundraiser to benefit Wreaths Across America. The competition features 25 teams that will be vying for top honors in grilling chicken, ribs and more. Visit The Barn at Vino’s Facebook page or Eventbrite page to register to be a people’s choice judge. There will be music and entertainment throughout the day.
  • Harvest, a farm-to-table restaurant in Oxford, is taking orders for Thanksgiving. From whole meals to individual items to take home and bake or to reheat, visit the restaurant’s Facebook page or find it on Instagram to place orders by Nov. 19
  • Strong Arm Baking in downtown Oxford is taking orders through this weekend for pickup next week or arrange for a porch drop.
  • Saturday, Nov. 20 – Falls Lake Academy vendor fair from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Saturday, Nov. 20 – Carolina Cotton in downtown Creedmoor will host a holiday Sip and Shop. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Drinks, snacks, door busters and door prizes offered.
  • Friday, Dec. 3 – Lighting of the Greens in Oxford at 6:45 p.m. followed by Oxford Christmas parade at 7 p.m.
  • Friday, Dec. 3 – Christmas in the Park, town of Butner. Children can visit with Santa from 5:30 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. Christmas music will follow and the town’s Christmas tree will be officially lighted at 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, Dec. 4 at 2 p.m. Butner Christmas parade
  • Friday, Dec. 3 – City of Creedmoor’s tree lighting ceremony at 7 p.m. at the new community center. Student choirs will be performing and Santa will drop by.
  • Saturday, Dec. 4 at 11 a.m. – Creedmoor Christmas parade
  • Sunday, Dec. 5 – The Barn at Vino will host “Cocoa with Santa” from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Children will get a chance to take a photo with Santa, decorate Christmas cookies and more during this 4th annual event. Additional vendors will be on hand to add some holiday shopping opportunities.
  • Saturday, Dec. 11 – Carlee Farms Holiday Market from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Santa and his elves will be at the market, along with more than 30 vendors in this fundraiser event to benefit the Stem Volunteer Fire Department and EMS. A silent auction and a toy drive are just some of the activities.
  • Saturday, Dec. 11 at 2 p.m. – Grassy Creek Christmas parade
  • Dec. 11 – 13 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Delrayno Baptist Church’s annual live nativity called “Back to Bethlehem.” There is no cost to participate, but donations are accepted. Enter from Delacroix Street across from Granville Medical Center to begin the drive-through event.
  • Saturday, Dec. 11 – The Orpheum in downtown Oxford is having a holiday gala to benefit the Masonic Home for Children in Oxford. Black tie and fancy dress is encourage for this event; a noted mixologist will be on hand to craft cocktails for this event.
  • During the month of December, the Oxford Arts Center is having several classes for participants to create holiday décor. Visit their Facebook page and the Eventbrite page to learn more and to register.

The website has details about these events and more.


TownTalk: Police Chief Marcus Barrow; Henderson City Ordinances

City officials have begun the task of updating ordinances to comply with a Dec. 1 deadline that will affect whether violations are considered a criminal infraction that could lead to arrest or a civil infraction that could result in a fine.

Henderson Police Chief Marcus Barrow explained the process to John C. Rose on Tuesday’s Town Talk. After consulting with his officers and staff, Barrow said he identified seven ordinances to be updated first. The City Council adopted the updated ordinances at its most recent meeting.

Back in 2018, Barrow said the state asked cities and municipalities for a list of ordinances that were enforceable by law enforcement personnel. Previously, the wording had indicated that “unless otherwise stated,” all ordinances were enforceable through citation or arrest. However, “a lot of things (have) happened in law enforcement” since then, Barrow said. The state General Assembly attached to a police reform bill that Gov. Roy Cooper signed into law in September a laundry list of items that affect city and municipal governments statewide.

In laymen’s terms, effective Dec. 1, unless specifically stated, all city ordinances are not enforceable by law enforcement officers. Barrow said the state basically changed the way ordinances must be written; “unless the ordinance specifically says it’s a criminal offense, it will not be,” he explained.

The first group of ordinances that were updated and adopted by the City Council are:

  • 7-54.14. – Enforcement (Golf Carts)
  • 10-7. – Loitering
  • 10-20. – Noises – Prohibited acts
  • 10-42. – Weapons, bows, slings, etc. (Discharging firearm in the city)
  • 10-44. – Trespassing on city property
  • 10-45. – Use of city parks within certain hours
  • 10-49. – Concealed weapons on city properties


City Manager Terrell Blackmon said this group of ordinances were chosen first because they are important for public safety.

He said a team of city officials is going to review all ordinances in the near future to update wording and possibly remove outdated ordinances.

“(The team) includes both chiefs, the city clerk, city attorney, development services director and myself that will be working on this project,” Blackmon told WIZS News via email. “We may also solicit the services of an external consultant to pull it all together once we have identified other ordinances that may need to be addressed,” he said.

Barrow said cities, including Henderson, may see an increase in civil actions instead of citations and arrests when ordinances are violated – fines and not crimes, he added. But what happens when someone goes to collect those fines or impose a civil action? “We can always go with them to maintain peace and order,” Barrow said. He predicts that cities and municipalities across the state will have to make some adjustments after the Dec. 1 deadline passes, but he said Henderson is in pretty good shape.

Because the police department is internationally accredited, it had already addressed the majority of tweaks and adjustments called for by the state.

“We’re sitting OK right now,” Barrow said.



Grace Ministries

TownTalk: Grace Ministries Prepares 2000 Meals for Thanksgiving

G.R.A.C.E. Ministries is partnering with several churches in Vance and Granville counties to distribute a couple of thousand plates of food Saturday, Nov. 20. Jamie Elliott, one of the founders of G.R.A.C.E. Ministries, said he welcomes the community to come join in, whether you’re interested in helping prepare the food or whether you want to come and pick up plates for you and your neighbors.

Elliott spoke with John C. Rose on Monday’s Town Talk and he said the food has been purchased, but added that monetary donations surely would help replenish the coffers – checks written to G.R.A.C.E. Ministries may be mailed to P.O. Box 316, Henderson, NC 27536.

In addition to eat-in and take out plates at the G.R.A.C.E. Ministries location at 961 Burr St., Elliott said West End Baptist, Island Creek Baptist and West Oxford Baptist churches all will be distributing plates on Saturday as well. West End will be set up at Henderson Family Dentistry, 560 Dabney Dr., Island Creek will be distributing food at its location, 950 Stagecoach Rd. and West Oxford will be giving out plates from their location, 627 Hillsboro St., Oxford.

Plates should be ready for pickup around lunchtime, but volunteers should plan to arrive by about 8:30 a.m. “Those cooking will be on site about 3 a.m.,” Elliott said. “Grab some friends and come on out,” he said. “We’ll have a good time (while) serving the Lord.”

There will be little time for relaxing after the Saturday food event, Elliott said, because as soon as they wrap up the pre-Thanksgiving meal, “we’ll put all our attentions on the toy drive” for Christmas.

New or very gently used toys will be collected in advance of the Dec. 18 program at G.R.A.C.E. Ministries. Elliott said he sincerely hopes that, this year, children can return to the church, hear a Christmas story and receive a gift. Visit to learn more about the upcoming events.

G.R.A.C.E. Ministries works in the four-county area to reach those struggling with addiction. Weekly recovery meetings are held on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. at 961 Burr St., Elliott said. Resources are available to help those in need.

Contact Elliott at 252.204.3617 or Bobby West at 252.432.7124 to find out ways to help with these holiday events.


TownTalk: Louisburg College Oral History Project Tells Students’ Stories

Louisburg College alumni have an opportunity to record their favorite memories of their days on campus as part of an oral history project underway now.

So far, the college has received close to 600 entries, and Alitha Palich tells alums there’s still time to send in submissions.

Palich is vice president of institutional advancement at Louisburg College and works with donors and alums. She and her team are coordinating the project with a company that specializes in oral history projects.

She told Bill Harris Thursday on Town Talk that they kicked off the project in September and hope to have the final publication available in September 2022.

The two-year college enjoys a long history in the area, dating back to 1787. The majority of students come from Franklin and nearby counties in North Carolina and Virginia.

“My favorite thing to do is hear their stories,” Palich said. She said she listens to alumni reminisce about their time on campus and recall lasting friendships made while students there.

“We’re a small college – that’s part of our charm.” Small college equals small staff, but it also means that students get the chance for more individualized attention from faculty and instructors.

Although the alumni stories span decades, Palich said common themes of special coaches or teachers have emerged in the stories submitted thus far.

And Fried Chicken Thursday.

Palich said she didn’t truly understand just how long the tradition of “Fried Chicken Thursday” had been around until she heard alum after alum recall fondly the weekly cafeteria treat.

“It’s one of the things they mention quite often,” she said. “Most people have a story about that – it’s funny to me that (it) popped up so many times, but it was quite the tradition on campus.”

The plan is to collect stories for a few more months and then begin the process of transcription. Alums may submit photos as well, Palich said. The book that will be created will probably be pretty hefty, and she hopes to get 700 submissions or more. The book will be available for purchase to alumni only; there is no obligation to purchase a book for those alumni who do submit stories. There will be a digital format available as well, she said.

One of the oldest alums to submit his story is a gentleman in his 90s who would have attended Louisburg College in the late 1940’s, she said.

Palich noted that the oral history project is a way for the school to collect stories and share them with others. “We want what their best memories are, their funniest stories…what changed their life,” she said.

In addition to preserving the school’s history through stories for others to read and enjoy now and in the future, Palich said the project also helps to bring up some school pride and strengthen the bond between different years and classes.

Call Palich at 919.496.2521 to learn how to submit stories for the project.

TownTalk: Gang Free Working To Vaccinate Families

Gang Free Inc. in Henderson is one of 10 sites across the state selected to partner with NC Department of Health and Human Services and Healthier Together to offer a six-week-long family vaccination clinic.

Melissa Elliott, founder of Gang-Free Inc. said 56 individuals participated in the Nov. 6 kickoff event at 940 County Home Road. “We’ve been rolling ever since,” she told John C. Rose on Wednesday’s Town Talk. The clinic is open from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays. The exception is Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 25) and Friday, Nov. 26. Appointment times are available, but not necessary. Elliott said drop-ins are welcome.

The clinic is for individuals of any age, she said, adding that they have the Pfizer vaccine recently approved for children 5-11. And anyone coming to get their first vaccine before Nov,. 30 will receive a $100 gift card, she added.

Elliott said it is “totally humbling” to see her organization listed among the other state sites that are hosting the family vaccination clinics and said it is a tribute to the mission of Gang-Free to be a location that seeks to offer help to the community.

Gang-Free Inc. isn’t a large organization, she acknowledged, but said what it may lack in size, it makes up for with community spirit.

“We’ve got hearts and we care about people,” she said.

Having a clinic that is open to the whole family is a great form of outreach, she said. Often,  marginalized populations that face a scarcity of money and resources are a target for educating and informing about the vaccination. “We always educate before we vaccinate,” she said. Health educators on hand help explain the need for a vaccinated population. When Elliott hears them relate the COVID-19 vaccine to other routine and accepted vaccines that children get, she said it helps the public understand the importance of vaccination.

“I don’t see anything as a problem,” Elliott said, rather, “I’m always looking for solutions.” Helping people understand their role in helping their community is part of the group’s mission with the family vaccine clinic. “We’re going to knock all the barriers out of the way – we’re going to get them here,” Elliott emphasized.

If you need transportation, contact KARTS at 252.438.2573.

For more information about the clinic, call 252.598.0067.

Visit to learn more.



Granville Vance Public Health Logo

TownTalk: Lisa Harrison Praises Area Healthcare Workers; Appears Before Congress


If you receive a postcard in the mail from Granville Vance Public Health in the next little bit, Lisa Harrison surely would appreciate it if you agree to help out with a project that is currently underway in the two-county area.

Harrison, GVPH director, said the health department is conducting its community assessment to solicit information from residents about what is foremost on their minds with regard to health issues.

She told John C. Rose on Town Talk Wednesday that the health district is going to be sending out postcards to about 4,000 individuals – chosen at random – to complete an online survey that will be used to complete the community health assessment.

In addition, there will be two focus groups held next week – one at Gang Free Inc, 940 County Home Rd., Henderson on Nov. 16 from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. and a second at Oxford United Methodist Church, 105 W. McClanahan St., Oxford on Nov. 17 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

For the past several years, the health department has focused on mental health, substance abuse, youth well-being and access to health care services. Results from the current community assessment will help inform the direction for county health professionals to take over the next several years. Harrison said she wants the public to say “what we should spend our time and money on in the next three years.”

As health director, she is attuned to the programs offered and services needed in Vance and Granville counties.

But Harrison also currently serves as president of the board of the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), which has taken her to conferences and meetings across the country.

She recently testified before Congress about the national shortage of health care workers and a possible loan repayment program to improve the situation.

“It was a really nice opportunity to brag on our workforce,” Harrison said. Those health care workers who have been “working at the tip of the spear” during the COVID-19 pandemic need to have advocates like Harrison representing them on the national level.

The hearing lasted about 4 ½ hours, but she said it seemed like there was bipartisan support for the loan repayment program.

The front-line workers battling COVID-19 aren’t much different from soldiers defending the country and keeping it safe. “I appreciate that there was some discussion…to protect Americans,” she added.

As for the staff at the health department, Harrison has nothing but glowing comments to share. “It’s always an honor and a privilege to talk about (them),” she said. They are dedicated to this community and so “it’s easy for me to tell that story.” The health department locations in Henderson and Oxford have extended clinic hours to make it easier for people to come after work and school to get vaccinated.

“Now’s the time” to get vaccinated, Harrison said. “We don’t want any more variants…(and) certainly we don’t want any more deaths. A vaccine is the best way to protect everybody.”



Salvation Army

TownTalk: Salvation Army Prepares For Bell Ringing and Other Events

Area retailers are gearing up for the annual Christmas shopping season and the leaders of the local Salvation Army have numerous ways that area residents can join in while sharing hope with children in the community.

One way is by volunteering to ring the bell by the iconic Red Kettle that is synonymous with the Salvation Army. But there are other ways to make the holidays brighter as well, say Capts. Derrick and Odessa Smith of The Salvation Army of Henderson.

The Smiths were on Town Talk Tuesday and spoke to John C. Rose about upcoming events and ways the community can participate.

Odessa Smith said the annual Angel Tree campaign has about 300 children signed up to receive Christmas gifts. Now is the time to choose an angel from one of the Army’s tree locations, she said. Shoppers also can adopt an angel virtually by going online at either the Salvation Army site or from Walmart, which will send all selected gifts directly to the Salvation Army.

The Red Kettle Kickoff will be held Thursday, Nov. 18 at 10 a.m. outside Belk of Henderson. He said the kickoff event will be an exciting time, during which participants will learn how the kettles became a symbol for the work of the Salvation Army. Visit to sign up to volunteer.

“The calendar for that is picking up,” he noted. Individuals or groups may sign up to ring the bell outside area retail stores.

Odessa Smith said gifts purchased for the Angel Tree project may be dropped off at the Salvation Army facility, 2292 Ross Mill Road.

This year, she noted, many parents have included winter clothing items on the wish list for their children. Winter coats and other appropriate warm outerwear will be especially appreciated this year, she added.

The Ross Mill Road location is the spot to drop off food items, as well as toys and clothing for the Angel Tree project.

Thrift store items, however, should be taken directly to the store, located at 218 Raleigh Road.

As with the thrift store revenue, almost all of the money collected during the holiday Red Kettle Campaign stays right here in the community to support programs.

The Salvation Army just celebrated its 100th anniversary of work in the Henderson area. Derrick said he’s very thankful and pleased to have “great people committed to our organization to help us provide hope within our community.”

Whether it’s a Red Kettle outside a store or a food drive to help senior adults with groceries, the Smiths said collaboration within the community is crucial to their ongoing success. “Collaboration and partnerships like that are meaningful,” Derrick said.

Because of the strong community partnerships, the Smiths anticipate in early 2022 the beginning of youth music programs that include brass band and woodwind instruments, as well as archery, air rifle classes. The ball fields are being built, too, which will further add to the program capability.

“We look forward to the growth of those ministries,” he said.

Visit to adopt an angel from the angel tree or purchase directly from Walmart’s angel tree at to have gifts delivered directly to the Salvation Army office.