Town Talk 11/13/19: Contributions Needed for Shop With A Cop Envelope Raffle

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Shop With A Cop Envelope Raffle 

Sponsored by the Henderson Police Department, Vance County Sheriff’s Office and Henderson-Vance County Chamber of Commerce.

Thank you for your assistance with this fundraiser to benefit “Shop With A Cop.” When all the envelopes $1 – $180 are sold, collected, and returned back to the Chamber office, our local law enforcement will receive $5,000 to take Vance County disadvantaged youth Christmas shopping at Walmart.

Our Chamber will also be benefiting from the proceeds and using our funds to initiate new programs and enhance value to our Chamber member businesses

Law enforcement will select 60 of the envelopes and the Chamber will have the remaining 120. Envelopes are numbered $1 – $180 and include a raffle ticket. When you approach someone you know, friend, co-worker, or neighbor, you are going to get a check (made payable to the Henderson-Vance County Chamber of Commerce) for the amount on the front of the envelope. They may also contribute cash.

The contributor will fill out the raffle ticket. They keep the stub and you return the completed raffle ticket portion with their name and phone number in the envelope to the Chamber office. Remind your contributors that their name will be entered into a raffle drawing for cash prizes. 

The contributors giving $1 – $40 will be entered to win $200. When they give $41 – $80, they will be entered to win $500. Those contributing $81 – $120 will be entered to win $1,000. And our grand prize of $2,000 will be for those contributing $121 – $180.

To hear the Shop With A Cop interview in its entirety, please click the play button below. Listen live to WIZS’ Town Talk Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. on 1450AM, 100.1 FM or online at

Town Talk 11/12/19: Sadie’s Coffee Corner Open for Business in Downtown Henderson!


Dr. Stephen Pearson, co-owner of the newly opened Sadie’s Coffee Corner in downtown Henderson, was the guest of honor on Tuesday’s edition of WIZS’ Town Talk program.

On Saturday, November 9, Pearson and wife Amanda celebrated the grand opening of the coffee shop located in the former Gupton’s Gun Shop building at 324 S. Garnett Street.

“The grand opening was awesome,” said Pearson. “We got to meet all kinds of people from town. A lot of people expressed joy in having a place to come, sit down, relax and get a good coffee.”

With local offerings from Wake Forest-based Black and White Coffee Roasters, Lake Gaston Coffee, Durham-based Big Spoon Roasters, Enfield Honey Farm in Halifax and baked goods from Strong Arm Baking Company in Oxford, the Pearsons are investing in the area they now call home.

Formerly based in Tampa, FL, the Pearsons began to familiarize themselves with the area when Stephen’s job as a contract worker for the government required travel to nearby Youngsville and Raleigh-based customers.

“Amanda fell in love with North Carolina and we decided to find somewhere that would be a great place to live,” explained Stephen. “We came to Henderson and saw some opportunity. We saw a town that possibly could use some investment.”

Alluding to the Henderson-Vance Downtown Development Commission and the City of Henderson’s efforts to reinstate the area to North Carolina Main Street status, Pearson said part of the attraction to downtown was the revitalization movement.

“To get a Main Street running the way it’s supposed to you need to have a barbershop and a coffee shop – places where people can do communal things. A place where people can have disagreements without arguments, talk politics or religion. When we came here, we were looking for a place like that and couldn’t find one. So we knew there was a natural need for it, and we believe downtown can grow from that.”

As for the name of their new venture, Pearson said the couple needed to look no further than their own loyal dog.

“Every day when I come home, my golden retriever Sadie sits at the door, wags her tail, has a big smile on her face and is happy to see me. When you walk through our doors, we want to put a smile on your face and know that you’re welcome,” said Pearson.

Sadie’s Coffee Corner is open seven days a week; Monday – Friday from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m., Saturday & Sunday from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m.

For more information, please visit the website at, check the shop out on Facebook (click here) or call (252) 557-1165.

To hear the interview with Pearson in its entirety, please click the play button below. Listen live to WIZS’ Town Talk Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. on 1450AM, 100.1 FM or online at

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Town Talk 11/11/19: Upcoming Veterans Dog Walk ‘Therapeutic’ for Dogs, Participants


Mark Ferri, veteran and Vance County Animal Shelter volunteer, was on Monday’s edition of WIZS’ Town Talk program to discuss the shelter’s upcoming Veterans Dog Walk event.

The event – Paws, Tails and Boots – will be held at the shelter, located at 1243 Brodie Rd. in Henderson, on Saturday, November 16, 2019, from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.

The public is welcome, with veterans, first responders and their families strongly encouraged to attend.

During the event, shelter volunteers and staff will be on-hand to answer questions and encourage participants who are eligible to commit to adopting an animal.

Founded by Ferri in 2016, the dog walk serves the twofold purpose of matching animals with loving owners and raising awareness of mental health issues.

According to Ferri, traumatic experiences are something that the shelter dogs and many veterans and first responders have in common and interactions between the two can be healing.

“It’s very therapeutic,” Ferri said. “A lot of people that have participated in the dog walk in the past have told me they feel like it’s a real help to them; the dogs love it too. You can come out and enjoy yourself without any kind of judgment from anyone or fear of being ridiculed or embarrassed.”

Fortunately, according to Ferri, society is becoming more aware and responsive to PTSD and other mental health issues. “Society isn’t very kind to the mentally ill; however, a lot of people are trying to turn that tide to get away from the stigma.”

To hear the interview with Ferri in its entirety, please click the play button below. Listen live to WIZS’ Town Talk Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. on 1450AM, 100.1 FM or online at

Town Talk 11/08/19

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Town Talk 11/07/19: Demolition Begins on Maria Parham’s New $3.2 Million Cath Lab

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Maria Parham Health CEO Bert Beard and Dr. Sydney Short, cardiologist with Maria Parham Cardiology, were the guests of honor on Thursday’s edition of WIZS’ Town Talk program.

Beard said he was pleased to announce that demolition has begun on the area that will serve as the hospital’s new catheterization (cath) lab. With a price tag of $3.2 million, the new lab will occupy currently unused space in the building and will be located off of the emergency room, directly adjacent to the helipad.

Work on the lab is expected to be completed in June or July 2020 with a grand opening to follow.

Short, who joined Maria Parham in January, said the current cath lab has grown exponentially as far as services provided in the past year.

“I’m very excited to be a part of the program here now,” Short said. “We are raising the level of care quite a bit. The cath lab has been here a few years, and in May 2019 we started doing PCIs.”

A PCI, or Percutaneous Coronary Intervention, is a non-surgical procedure that uses a catheter to place a stent in the heart in order to open up blood vessels that have been narrowed by plaque buildup. Complications of plaque buildup include chest pain, heart arrhythmias and heart failure.

Previously, MPH patients would have been referred to another hospital for such a procedure. “Now, patients that come in with chest pain can have a heart catheterization study done here and have a stent placed safely here,” said Short.

In addition to PCIs, Maria Parham Cardiology has increased its offering of other services including stress tests, echocardiograms, heart monitoring – including longer-term loop monitoring – and pacemaker implantation.

“The level of services has increased significantly, so we are able to do a lot of things to treat patients here who in the past would have been transferred,” Short explained.

Beard said continued expansion of both the quality and the quantity of health services offered in the local, rural community is the commitment of Maria Parham and Duke LifePoint Healthcare.

According to Beard, another example of this commitment will be realized at the end of January 2020 when Duke will station a life flight helicopter and crew at MPH 24/7. Two additional ambulances will also be stationed as part of the hospital’s designation as a strategic transport center.

“We are 100% committed to offering services that we know we can confidently provide to the patients at a high-quality level,” said Beard. “The additional services being offered should tell the community that you have access to quality care right here.”

To hear the interview with Beard and Short in its entirety, please click the play button below. Listen live to WIZS’ Town Talk Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. on 1450AM, 100.1 FM or online at

Town Talk 11/06/19: Grace Ministries Seeks to Feed 6,000 for Thanksgiving

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Jamie Elliott, founder of Grace Ministries in Henderson, was on Wednesday’s segment of WIZS’ Town Talk program to discuss the organization’s 3rd Annual Thanksgiving Drive.

Elliott, who described himself as a recovering addict, began Grace Ministries as a way to reach those in Vance, Granville, Franklin and Warren counties who struggle with addiction.

“God has brought me so far in my life that I want to share with our community and let everybody know that there is hope through addiction; that hope is Jesus,” Elliott said. “If I can use my life or share anything about my life, I’m happy to do that if it will save one person out there.”

One way Elliott said he gives back to the community is through the annual free Thanksgiving meal which will be served this year at 11 a.m. on Saturday, November 23 at 961 Burr Street in Henderson.

The “Meal and a Prayer” event will feed approximately 6,000 people, according to Elliott, and community donations of traditional Thanksgiving meal items are greatly needed.

“We need 300 turkeys, 300 cakes, 300 gallons of corn and 300 gallons of string beans,” said Elliott. “We need donations and we need volunteers. This huge number is not going to get done by itself and it’s not going to get done by grace alone. We need local churches, local businesses and the community to step out in faith and get involved.”

For more information on how to donate and/or volunteer, please call Bobby West at (252) 432-7124 or Jamie Elliott at (252) 204-3617. For more information on Grace Ministries, visit their website at

Those struggling with addiction or those who wish to help loved ones struggling with addiction are encouraged to attend Grace Ministries’ 12-Step meetings on Tuesday and Friday evenings at 7 p.m. at 961 Burr Street. All are welcome to attend this addiction recovery process based on biblical passages.

To hear Elliott’s interview in its entirety, please click the play button below. Listen live to WIZS’ Town Talk Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. on 1450AM, 100.1 FM or online at

Town Talk 11/05/19: Downtown Henderson Continues on Path to Main Street Status

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Kathy Walters, director of the Henderson-Vance Downtown Development Commission (DDC), was on Tuesday’s edition of WIZS’ Town Talk program to discuss the progress being made on reestablishing Henderson and the downtown area to North Carolina Main Street status.

Returning to the DDC in September after previously serving as director in the 90s, Walters said the most important thing downtown can do is to “strategically position ourselves for methodical, careful movement towards the revitalization of this area.”

For the past several years, the DDC director’s position has been funded on a part-time, contract-only basis, an arrangement that prevented Downtown Henderson, in part, from being reinstated in the Main Street Program.

“We are extremely delighted and fortunate to have Kathy on full-time with the DDC again,” said Board Chair Benny Finch in a prior interview with WIZS. “She’s had about 10 years of experience working with the City and she’s very familiar with Downtown Henderson and the Main Street Program.”

A part of the Main Street Program from the mid-1980s until approximately 2010, a lapse in the completion of requirements cost the downtown area the coveted distinction.

“It is requiring a great deal of work from the Board, myself and the City,” Walters said of the reinstatement process. “The main thing is that we are organized, dedicated and working on the Main Street approach.”

One of the more time-consuming tasks, according to Walters, is the Main Street requirement that the City submit an inventory of each building in downtown, including photographs from all sides and an account of the building’s history/purpose.

The benefits, including technical assistance with building restoration and access to grant money, are well worth all of the efforts and are a great starting point for revitalization, according to Walters.

While the assistance the Main Street Program can offer would go a long way to attracting new businesses to downtown and helping existing businesses renovate, Walters said the growth of the area ultimately comes down to the “sustainability of the business and support of the community.”

To hear Walters’ interview in its entirety, please click the play button below. Listen live to WIZS’ Town Talk Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. on 1450AM, 100.1 FM or online at

Town Talk 11/04/19: VGCC President Talks Reorganization, Power of Partnerships

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Dr. Rachel Desmarais, president of Vance-Granville Community College, joined WIZS on Monday’s edition of Town Talk to discuss college reorganization, expanded community outreach and enrollment growth.

The recent hiring of Jerry Edmonds as VGCC’s Vice President of Workforce Development and Community Engagement aligns with Desmarais’ mission, as she stated in a previous Town Talk interview, to “leverage the gifts and talents that our people have here in the college to create more short-term workforce training to support our existing companies and to be a recruitment tool for economic development.”

“We did some reorganization in the college to make sure what has been traditionally considered  corporate and continuing education, or non-credit training, was no longer the back door of our college,” said Desmarais. “We believe that needs to be front and center; we need two front doors.”

Edmonds’ background includes his most recent tenures as the Dean of Workforce and Economic Development and Small Business Center Director at Halifax Community College, along with prior leadership positions at Johnson & Johnson and IBM.

His familiarity with Henderson’s economic scene is also a plus, according to Desmarais. “Jerry’s parents moved here in the 80s and kept their family home here. Jerry owns a home in Henderson and is very familiar with local business and industry.”

Desmarais said Edmonds has hit the ground running in his new position by helping the college expand the Business Agriculture program operated through the VGCC Small Business Center.

As part of that expansion, VGCC will be offering CDL-A training for big rig truck driving beginning February 2020. This is part of a series of nine-week programs “designed to get people employed quickly,” according to Desmarais.

In addition to offering more programs at the college, VGCC is also expanding its community outreach endeavors. “VGCC is trying to get out more,” Desmarais said. We’re not expecting people to always come here. We are taking a critical look at how we can also be part of the community. It is something I believe in very passionately.”

Desmarais believes VGCC’s presence at various community events over the spring and summer  led, in part, to the college’s 3.75% increase in enrollment for the fall semester. Such an increase is significant when viewing figures that show a steady decline of enrollment over the past six years, she explained.

A focus on providing tuition-free college classes to local high school students also helped provide an enrollment boost this semester.

“We’ve been very intentional with our K-12 programs. We don’t just educate adults; we also partner with our school systems to offer education to high school students. That’s usually done through Early Colleges – we have one in each of our four counties. We also offer general Career and College Promise classes to any high school student whether they be in public school, charter school, home school or private school. These are wonderful opportunities for high school students to take college classes tuition-free,” said Desmarais.

The college has also been focusing on increasing marketing efforts for its basic law enforcement program, increasing the capacities in the health programs and streamlining the financial aid and admissions process for students.

In looking forward to the 2020 Spring Semester, Desmarais said the college will be expanding hours of operation to better fit the schedules of working students.

In addition to the recent inclusion of office hours on Tuesday evenings, the college will soon open at least one Saturday each month and will include additional sections of evening and weekend classes.

Desmarais also announced that VGCC, in partnership with KARTS serving Vance, Warren, Granville and Franklin counties, will be tackling one of the largest barriers to higher education in the local area – lack of transportation.

“Beginning this spring, we are going to be offering vouchers that the college will be paying for out of grant funds and existing endowment funds. If we run out, we’ll be asking for more people to consider giving to our endowment funds,” said Desmarais. “It’s about partnerships; it’s about leveraging our assets along with other assets in the community.”

Desmarais wants to ensure that lack of transportation and/or funding is no longer an obstacle for those wishing to receive higher education or job training. To ensure funding, in particular, was no longer an obstacle, the college created a “VanGuarantee” program as a way to assist students with money not covered by financial aid.

“If someone wants to come to Vance-Granville, we are going to find a way for them to come whether it is through federal financial aid or scholarship money from our endowment,” Desmarais said. “The VanGuarantee is that we are going to get you here!”

To learn more about the VanGuarantee or Vance-Granville Community College’s programs, please visit the website by clicking here.

To hear Desmarais’ interview in its entirety, please click the play button below. Listen live to WIZS’ Town Talk Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. on 1450AM, 100.1 FM or online at

Town Talk 11/01/19

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Town Talk 10/30/19: Tourism Director Talks Halloween Fun in Granville

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Angela Allen, director of the Granville County Tourism Development Authority, was on Wednesday’s edition of WIZS’ Town Talk to discuss Halloween happenings in the area.

“We are going out of October and heading into November with a bang,” Allen said. Halloween events include:

  • Downtown Oxford’s Spooktacular Candy Stroll trick-or-treat event Friday, November 1, 2019, from 3:30 – 5 p.m. Trick-or-treat was moved from its original date of Thursday, October 31 due to rainy weather forecasts.
  • Downtown Creedmoor Trick-or-Treating will be held Thursday, October 31 from 6 until 8 p.m. The event is sponsored by the Creedmoor Police Department and downtown merchants.
  • Covenant Life Church will hold Trunk-or-Treat at Butner Athletic Park from 6 until 8 p.m. on Thursday, October 31. The park is located at 1105 West B Street in Butner, NC. This event is open to the public.
  • The Granville Haunt Farm will be open on Halloween from dusk until 9:30 p.m. Activities include a corn maze, haunted trail, zombie paintball and an escape room. This weekend is the last weekend of the season. The farm is located at 4534 US-15 in Oxford, NC.

These are just a few of the many Halloween activities taking place in Granville County. With inclement weather forecasted, it is recommended that you check to see if events have been rescheduled or canceled before heading out tomorrow.

For more information on Granville County events, please visit

To hear Allen’s interview in its entirety, including information on upcoming November events, please click the play button below. Listen live to WIZS’ Town Talk Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. on 1450AM, 100.1 FM or online at