Big Ruin Creek Baptist Church to Hold 220 Seafood Fundraiser

100.1 FM / 1450 AM WIZS; Local News broadcasts M-F 8am, 12pm, 5pm

-Information courtesy Dorothy Wimbush, Big Ruin Creek Baptist Church

Big Ruin Creek Baptist Church will hold a Trout Dinner Fundraiser on Monday, April 6, 2020, from 4 – 7 p.m. at 220 Seafood Restaurant, 1812 Norlina Rd. in Henderson.

Trout, coleslaw, french fries and hushpuppies will be available for $8 per plate. Plates are available for eat-in or take out. Beverage provided with eat-in meals only.

Tickets may be purchased at the door or in advance by calling Dorothy Wimbush at (252) 425-7366.

Your support of this event is greatly appreciated.

George R. Watkins Receives United Way’s Sam Watkins Visionary Award


-Information courtesy Citizens Aligned To Take Back Henderson, NC

Mr. George Rose Watkins received the United Way of Vance County’s Sam Watkins Visionary Award on February 18, 2020. This award was named after and is given in memory of Mr. Watkins’ twin brother, Samuel Merriweather Watkins, Jr.

Mr. George Rose Watkins received the United Way of Vance County’s Sam Watkins Visionary Award on February 18, 2020. (Photo courtesy Citizens Aligned to Take Back Henderson, NC)

The award was presented to Mr. Watkins by United Way President Jane Haithcock at the Annual Meeting and Recognition Event.

The Sam Watkins Visionary Award is given annually to an individual who is a resident of and has a passion for Vance County who is a visionary and who strongly supports Vance County and all of its citizens.

Mr. George Watkins is very deserving of this honor and from a grateful community, we say thank you, Sir!

Town Talk 02/19/20: Free Mobile Pharmacy Coming to Henderson; Volunteers Needed

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Kinzie Luce, Mobile Free Pharmacy Events and Volunteer manager with NC MedAssist, appeared on WIZS Town Talk Wednesday at 11 a.m.

NC MedAssist, in collaboration with Triangle North Healthcare Foundation, is holding a Mobile Free Pharmacy Event in Vance County on Friday, February 21, 2020. The event will be held at Shiloh Baptist Church – 635 S. College St., Henderson – from 9 a.m. until  2 p.m.

Participants must be at least 18 years old to receive medication. No identification is required and no income requirements or residency restrictions apply.

A non-profit pharmacy founded in 1997, NC MedAssist serves all 100 North Carolina counties. The charitable organization partners with Triangle North Healthcare Foundation to offer mobile free pharmacy events on a rotating basis in the local four-county area.

“Triangle North Healthcare Foundation is pleased to bring the Over the Counter Medicine Program back to Vance County,” Executive Director Val Short stated in a recent press release. “The OTC Give Away Day is expected to have a huge impact. Our goal is to improve the health of our community, one person at a time. We know that even with insurance, many individuals cannot afford OTC products.”

According to Luce, total participation in these events depends on several factors, including the weather, but the organization “brings enough medicine to serve 1,000 and hopes to distribute it all.”

Each individual can select eight items from a “shopping list” that includes allergy medicine, digestive aids, cough and cold, children’s medication, vitamins, Tylenol and Band-Aids.

“Everyone should leave with a minimum of 10-12 items,” Luce said. “They can select eight items off the shopping list, along with a few miscellaneous items.”

In addition to partnerships, Luce explained that is the hard work and dedication of volunteers that make these events possible. “We have a great volunteer base in Vance, Granville, Warren and Franklin counties. We could not do what we do without them. Our volunteers are serving those that they live and work around.”

Additional volunteers age 12 and older are needed and do not require experience or medical knowledge. “Our volunteers unload trucks and stock medicine on the table,” Luce said. “This is a great way for students to get community hours that they may need for school.”

If you are interested in volunteering for this event, please contact Triangle North Healthcare Foundation at (252) 430-8532.

Information will also be available at Friday’s event regarding the NC MedAssist Free Pharmacy Program, which mails prescription medications directly to eligible participants free-of-charge.

Learn more about NC MedAssist and its programs by visiting

To hear the interview with Luce in its entirety, go to and click on Town Talk.

Coop Extension’s Annual Symposium to Focus on ‘Conservation Through Gardening’

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-Information courtesy Paul McKenzie, Agricultural Extension Agent, NC Cooperative Extension

Join the Vance/Warren Extension Master Gardener volunteers on Saturday, March 28, 2020, for the annual Garden Symposium entitled “Petals, Pollinators & Passerines” at the Vance County Regional Farmers Market. The market is located at 210 Southpark Dr. in Henderson.

The theme this year is “conservation through gardening,” with lessons on how garden practices can help birds, bees and native plants.

Outstanding presenters include Dr. Elsa Youngsteadt, noted pollinator researcher at NCSU and author of The Bees of North Carolina; Dr. Annabel Renwick, native plants curator at Duke Gardens; and Christina Harvey with the Wake County chapter of Audubon North Carolina.

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m., with the program starting at 9 a.m. sharp. Register by March 17 for the early bird price of only $30, which includes refreshments and lunch.

There will also be an optional afternoon workshop on Upcycling which will demonstrate how to make garden treasures out of items usually found in the trash or recycling bin. Pre-registration is strongly preferred.

All the details, including the registration form, are posted at or call the Vance County Extension Center at 252-438-8188.

The Symposium is co-sponsored by the Vance County Extension Center and the Vance/Warren Master Gardener Volunteer Association (Gardeners of Kerr Lake).

Town Talk 02/18/20: Daeke Discusses Potential McGregor Hall Funding


Garry Daeke, Henderson City Council member, appeared on WIZS Town Talk Tuesday at 11 a.m.

Daeke briefly mentioned the upcoming Focus 20/20 Regional Economic Development Summit to be held at McGregor Hall Performing Arts Center on Thursday, February 20, 2020, and discussed the success of another downtown entity, Sadie’s Coffee Corner.

“What a great venue, and a great community space where people can come together,” said Daeke. “Sadie’s is a great place for anyone and everyone to come together in downtown, relax and enjoy good food and drinks.”

In light of a recently completed economic development study quantifying McGregor Hall’s impact on the local economy, including increased traffic at downtown business and restaurants, McGregor Hall representatives requested City and County funding to assist with its remaining $2.9 million debt.

The results of the study, prepared by the Municipal Research Lab at NC State University, were sent to Vance County Manager Jordan McMillen and former City of Henderson Manager Frank Frazier. While McGregor Hall did not list a specific monetary amount in its funding request, it pointed out the following, as indicated in the study:

  • McGregor Hall is directly responsible for injecting $2.4 million into the Henderson economy during the 12 months preceding April 2019.
  • McGregor Hall is directly responsible for 5.5% of all economic growth in Vance County over the past three years.
  • McGregor Hall, with a 1,000 seating capacity, is the only performing arts center with over 750 seats in NC (not connected with an educational institution) that does not receive any kind of municipal or county funding.

With an annual budget of $491,839 as of 2018, McGregor Hall currently operates with one full-time employee and three part-time employees. The rest of the blanks are filled by numerous volunteers and donors, a feat that Daeke admitted will be hard to maintain in the long-run.

“I don’t think it can continue, in my opinion, with the level of quality they provide now with just so many volunteers,” Daeke said. “It’s very important that the McGregor Hall Performing Arts Center continues to grow, thrive and be a pinnacle centerpiece for Vance County.”

Providing a history of the construction of McGregor Hall and other Breckenridge buildings, including the Henderson Police Department, Daeke stated that the City has already invested quite a bit of money into the project and suggested the County may be the place to turn to for additional funding.

“The City has a couple of million dollars in the facility already whereas the County was not involved in that funding,” explained Daeke. “The County benefits greatly from the sales tax [generated by McGregor Hall], the City to a lesser degree. For every $3 that’s generated by McGregor Hall, $2 goes to the County and $1 to the City.”

Daeke said the impact study has helped to shine a light on the extent of McGregor Hall’s economic reach and believes the County appreciates the results as well.

“A very fair and economical way of helping would be for the County to step up and provide some help; they get return from it. I do think the County sees its role in continuing to help McGregor Hall.”

To hear the interview with Daeke in its entirety, go to and click on Town Talk.

H-V Chamber of Commerce Releases Agenda for Regional Economic Dev. Summit

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-Information courtesy The Henderson-Vance County Chamber of Commerce

The Henderson-Vance County Chamber of Commerce has released the agenda for Focus 20/20, the Regional Economic Development Summit to be held at the McGregor Hall Performing Arts Center in Henderson on Thursday, February 20, 2020. The summit kicks off at 9:30 a.m.


8:30 – 9:30 a.m. Networking and Registration

9:30 – 9:45 a.m. Welcome and Opening Remarks

Diane Cox, Executive Director, Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments
Gordon Wilder, Chairman, Vance County Board of Commissioners
Eddie Ellington, Mayor, City of Henderson
Benny Finch, Board Chairman, Henderson Vance Downtown Development Commission
John Wester, Embassy Cultural Center Foundation

9:45 – 11 a.m. Opening Act: Setting the Stage – Hear about the condition of today’s economy and how our region compares to the country and the state. Learn how investment in vital infrastructure is key to creating good jobs and promoting full economic development.

Facilitator: Richie Duncan, Economic Development Director, Franklin County

Dr. Michael Walden, William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor and Extension Economist at North Carolina State University

Jennifer Lantz, Executive Director, Wilson Economic Development Council

Hillary Sherman, NC Economic Development Representative, US Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration

11 a.m. – 12 p.m. Second Act: Advancing Entrepreneurship – Supporting an entrepreneurial ecosystem is a critical building block for community and economic development. Learn about advancing entrepreneurship to encourage the development of new and innovative businesses that support a resilient economy.

Facilitator: Stacy Woodhouse, Economic Development Director, Warren County

Speaker: Thom Ruhe, President & CEO, NC IDEA

12 – 1 p.m. Lunch/Invocation

Harry Mills, Economic Development Director, Granville County

1 – 1:15 p.m. Introduction: Jordan McMillen, County Manager, Vance County
Remarks from North Carolina Secretary of Commerce Anthony M. (Tony) Copeland

1:15 – 2:30 p.m. Third Act: Developing Talented and Innovative People – Retaining, retraining, and retooling our citizens to prepare them for the jobs of the future is of utmost importance. Connecting top talent with quickly changing business needs will further change the workforce landscape as responsiveness and adaptability become paramount. Hear about innovative workforce initiatives that are preparing our workforce.

Facilitator: Sherry Wilborn, Economic Development Director, Person County

Dr. Jenni Harris, Executive Director of Business Services,
North Carolina Department of Commerce, Division of Workforce Solutions

Dawn Michelle Tucker, Dean of Continuing Education and College & Career Readiness, Vance-Granville Community College

Dr. Pamela G. Senegal, President, Piedmont Community College

Judy Bradsher, M.Ed., Director, CTE Programs/GEAR UP Liaison, Person County Schools

Rhonda L. High, Customized Training Director, Halifax Community College

2:30 – 4 p.m. Final Act: 13 Ways to Kill Your Community – Author and former politician Doug Griffiths provides a revelatory and insightful look at the often universal challenges that limit community success and how to overcome them.

Introduction: Walter Gardner, Board Officer, Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments

Keynote Speaker:
Doug Griffiths, President and CEO, 13 Ways, Inc.

Closing Remarks:
Dennis Jarvis II, Economic Development Director, Vance County

Event Sponsored by:
Franklin County Committee of 100, Henderson-Vance Industrial Park, Tommy and Jenny Hester and Region K Community Assistance Corporation.

Lunch Sponsored by:
Franklin County Economic Development Commission, Granville County Economic Development Commission, Henderson-Vance County Economic Development Commission, Person County Economic Development Commission and
Warren County Economic Development Commission.

Henderson-Vance Recreation & Parks Dept. Welcomes Toshia Somerville

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-Information courtesy Henderson-Vance Recreation and Parks

The Henderson-Vance Recreation & Parks Department is excited to introduce Toshia Somerville as the new Administrative Support Specialist.

Toshia Somerville is the new Administrative Support Specialist for the Henderson-Vance Recreation & Parks Department. (Photo courtesy H-V Rec & Parks)

Toshia is a native of Hampton Roads, Virginia. She graduated from Old Dominion University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Fashion Buying and Marketing.

Following graduation, she enlisted in the US Army and served seven years as an Arabic Linguist. After her service, she attended Regis University where she received a Master of Business Administration Degree.

Toshia is married to Corei Somerville and they have 4 children – Alexis, Corei Jr., Jaelen and Jeremiah. Toshia enjoys giving back to her community and is excited to be part of the Henderson-Vance Recreation and Parks team.

Henderson Man Sentenced to 26 Years for Heroin, Firearm Violations

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-Press Release, U.S. Department of Justice

United States Attorney Robert J. Higdon, Jr. announced that yesterday in federal court, United States District Judge James C. Dever III sentenced JONATHAN ANTWAN MITCHELL, 34, of Henderson, North Carolina to 312 months imprisonment, followed by 5 years of supervised release.

MITCHELL was named in an Indictment filed on December 4, 2018, charging him with conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin, possess with the intent to distribute a quantity of heroin, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. On July 22, 2019, MITCHELL pled guilty to that charge.

According to the investigation, in August of 2018, agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives conducted a controlled purchase of heroin from MITCHELL. This purchase occurred in Henderson, North Carolina.

A few days later, a trooper with the North Carolina State Highway Patrol attempted to conduct a traffic stop on a car that MITCHELL was driving. MITCHELL sped away, reaching speeds of up to approximately 80 mph in a 45 mph zone. After a couple of miles, MITCHELL lost control and wrecked the car in a ditch. MITCHELL ran from the car and after a struggle with the trooper, was ultimately placed under arrest. Agents from the Vance County Sheriff’s Office and the State Bureau of Investigation arrived at the scene to assist.

As a result of the arrest and a search of the car, agents recovered over 1,200 dosage units of heroin, approximately $31,000 in US currency, a semiautomatic pistol, and a 50-round extended magazine. MITCHELL later admitted to agents that he had been dealing heroin in the Henderson and Vance County area since 2014.

This case is part of the Take Back North Carolina Initiative of The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina. This initiative emphasizes the regional assignment of federal prosecutors to work with law enforcement and District Attorney’s Offices on a sustained basis in those communities to reduce the violent crime rate, drug trafficking, and crimes against law enforcement. For more information about this initiative click here:

Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Homeland Security Investigations; the State Bureau of Investigation; the Vance County Sheriff’s Office; and the North Carolina State Highway Patrol conducted the investigation in this matter. Assistant United States Attorney Nick J. Miller represented the government.

Town Talk 02/17/20: Jones’ Sunday Morning Motivation on WIZS Encourages, Uplifts

100.1 FM / 1450 AM WIZS; Local News broadcasts M-F 8am, 12pm, 5pm

WIZS Sunday Morning Motivation “The Help Center NC” with Twanna J. Jones aired on Town Talk Monday at 11 a.m. Sunday Morning Motivation airs every Sunday morning on 100.1 FM/ 1450 AM WIZS at 10:30 a.m.

Jones, along with her husband Bobby, owns and operates The Help Center NC in Vance and Granville County. According to the Help Center’s website (, the ministry was established in 2016 to share the Gospel and advocate for the poor, elderly and young by providing the tools needed for families to become self-sufficient through training and educational programs.

Serving those in Franklin, Vance, Warren and Granville counties, the program assists with food, housing referrals and resources to enhance the physical, social, emotional, and economic health of poor and homeless citizens.

Sunday Morning Motivation on WIZS is a way for the service area to hear positive, encouraging messages to improve mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health. The February 16 presentation, re-aired for Monday’s Town Talk, addressed the “loneliness” Jones said some residents have stated they feel around holidays, especially romantic holidays like Valentine’s Day. Putting these emotions into a spiritual context, Jones shared biblical passages on love and handling feelings of disappointment.

The program also featured local author Terry Alston Jones who discusses her book “A Summer With No Ice Cream.” Told through the eyes of a 12-year-old, this novel discusses the importance of making good health and lifestyle choices while young to avoid negative consequences later in life. It is the first in a planned series entitled “Embracing Myself and My Health” aimed at addressing health disparities in the African American community.

For more information about The Help Center and its programs, please call (252) 572-3203 to speak with a representative or email [email protected]

To hear the Sunday Morning Motivation with Twanna J. Jones in its entirety, go to and click on Town Talk.

‘One Noble Journey’ to Pay Tribute to Black History Month at McGregor Hall

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-Information courtesy McGregor Hall Performing Arts Center

In celebration of Black History Month, McGregor Hall will feature “One Noble Journey: A Black History Month Tribute” on Tuesday, February 18, 2020. The performance begins at 7:30 p.m.

ONE NOBLE JOURNEY is a moving play telling the story of Henry “Box” Brown, an African American born into slavery in Louisa, Virginia. Henry devised an ingenious escape plan — sealing himself in a wooden box for shipment to friends and freedom in Philadelphia.

Tickets for this event may be purchased by:

DROP-IN: 201 Breckenridge Street, Henderson, N.C. Monday – Friday 1:30 – 5:30 p.m

CALL: (252) 598-0662 (M-F 1:30 – 5:30 p.m.)

CLICK HERE:  (Use the eTix official site, online fees apply)

(This is not a paid advertisement)