VGCC to Offer Open House at All Four Campuses

-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Vance-Granville Community College will hold an Open House on Saturday, April 6, 2019, from 9 a.m. until noon, at all four of its campuses.

VGCC staff members and faculty will be available during those hours to provide information on the enrollment process, academic programs and student support services. Visitors will also be able to take campus tours.

The Summer 2019 term begins May 20, while the Fall 2019 semester starts on August 19.

Prospective students are encouraged to pre-register for Open House (and select the campus they plan to visit) at

VGCC’s Main Campus is located at 200 Community College Road, Henderson (Exit 209 on Interstate 85, about midway between Henderson and Oxford).

The Franklin County Campus is located at 8100 N.C. 56., Louisburg (just west of Louisburg).

South Campus is located at 1547 South Campus Drive, Creedmoor (off of N.C. 56, between Creedmoor and Butner).

The Warren County Campus is located at 210 West Ridgeway Street (U.S. 158 Business) in Warrenton.

For more information on enrolling, call (252) 738-3234 or visit any campus.

Complete Warrenton’s Bicycle-Pedestrian Plan Survey for a Chance to Win $50!

-Information courtesy Town of Warrenton NC’s Facebook page

The Town of Warrenton is interested in your feedback on bicycle and pedestrian plans. A grant from NC DOT is helping the Town develop plans and citizen feedback is critical.

Survey forms are available online, at Town Hall and also at the County Health Department and Library. Surveys can be turned in at any of these locations.

Upon completing a survey, you will automatically be registered for a drawing that includes a $50 cash prize!

Help us plan for the future!  Download the survey:

Survey Questionnaire ENGLISH

Survey Questionnaire SPANISH

Or click here to complete an online survey.

NC Farmers, Supporters to Attend Agriculture Awareness Event

-Press Release, NCDA&CS

The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is hosting Ag Awareness Day. Farmers, agribusiness leaders and Ag supporters will attend to show their support for North Carolina’s No. 1 industry and to thank legislators for passing the $240 million Hurricane Florence Ag Disaster Relief package. Participants will meet with legislators and attend a program in Bicentennial Plaza.


Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Bicentennial Plaza, Raleigh (between the Agriculture Building and the N.C. Museum of History)

*8:30 a.m. – Buses will depart the fairgrounds bringing Ag Awareness Day participants downtown.

*9 – 11 a.m. – Participants will meet with their legislators.

*11:30 a.m. – Ag Awareness Day program begins in Bicentennial Plaza, including the following speakers:

Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler, Gov. Roy Cooper, Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, President Pro Tempore Phil Berger, Speaker Tim Moore, Senator Brent Jackson, Representative Jimmy Dixon, Senator Dan Blue, Representative John Bell, Senator Don Davis, Representative Brian Turner and NCSU Dean Richard Linton.

*All times are approximate.

VGCC Presents 7th Annual Dinner Theater: ‘Company’ by Stephen Sondheim

-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

“Company” by Stephen Sondheim

Tickets for Seventh Annual Dinner Theater will go on sale March 25!

Check out the details below of what promises to be an evening of fun, food and fellowship in the great Vance-Granville Drama and Culinary Arts tradition and get your tickets at The event, once again involving the collaboration of the VGCC Drama and Culinary Arts departments, is scheduled for the evenings of Thursday, April 25 and Friday, April 26, 2019, in the Civic Center on VGCC’s Main Campus in Vance County. Dinner begins at 6 p.m. each evening.

Sondheim’s musical is a sophisticated and honest look at modern adult relationships.

From musical theatre’s most renowned composer, “Company” is largely regarded as a trailblazer of the dark-comedy, modern-musical genre and the winner of seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Score, Best Lyrics and Best Book.

On the night of his 35th birthday, confirmed bachelor Robert contemplates his unmarried state. Over the course of a series of dinners, drinks and even a wedding, his friends – “those good and crazy people [his] married friends” – explain the pros and cons of taking on a spouse. The habitually single Robert is forced to question his adamant retention of bachelorhood during a hilarious array of interactions.

“Company” features a brilliantly brisk and energetic score containing many of Stephen Sondheim’s best-known songs. The strength of the piece lies in its vivid yet real characters, meaning impressive technical aspects aren’t necessary to convey the story. It can be told as effectively with a cavalcade of automated set pieces as it can with a chair or two. Every audience member will see reflections of themselves in at least one of the characters onstage.

Betsy Henderson, VGCC’s Department Chair/Instructor of Humanities and Fine Arts, is the director of the play.

Tickets are $30 and are scheduled to go on sale on March 25. Audience members will be able to choose the table and specific seats they want at the same time that they buy their tickets online. Patrons are encouraged to purchase their tickets early in order to have the best chance of getting the seats they want for this year’s show.

For more information, visit

Local Chambers of Commerce to Host Administrative Professionals Luncheon

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

The Granville County Chamber of Commerce, together with Franklin, Warren and Vance Chambers are sponsoring the annual Administrative Professionals Luncheon.

This year’s event is being held Wednesday, April 24 at noon at Thorndale Oaks, 105 West Quailridge Road in Oxford. We are honored to have Vance-Granville Community College’s new President, Dr. Rachel Desmarais, as our guest speaker for the luncheon.

Business owners and administrators are encouraged to treat their administrative professionals to lunch, networking and an opportunity to meet Dr. Desmarais in observance of Administrative Professionals’ Day.

Lunch reservations are required ~ $20 per guest by April 18 to either of the Chamber’s offices – 919.693.6125, [email protected] or 919.528.4994, [email protected].

State Broadband Office Publishes Homework Gap Report

-Information courtesy NC DIT

Eric Boyette, Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Information Technology (DIT) and State Chief Information Officer, announced today the release of the “The Homework Gap in North Carolina,” a report that provides communities with strategies to bridge the homework gap that occurs when students are assigned homework that requires internet access but lack an internet connection at home.

N.C. DIT’s Broadband Infrastructure Office developed the homework gap report in partnership with The William & Ida Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at North Carolina State University. This report contributes to a growing body of research and strategic policy recommendations designed to equip state and local policymakers, educators, and other key stakeholders with information to understand the homework gap and strategies to address it.

“We know we have many children in our state that are victims of this digital divide,” Secretary Boyette said. “Understanding the nature and scope of this problem is key to closing the homework gap.”

Governor Roy Cooper’s budget proposal makes closing the homework gap a significant priority. Governor Cooper proposes a $5 million fund to support schools that need internet hot spots for students and Wi-Fi technology for school buses.

“Too often I hear of students doing homework in the parking lots of fast food restaurants or driving long distances to use free Wi-Fi at churches and friends’ homes,” Governor Cooper said. “This is unacceptable in this day and age and it creates inequity in our educational system.”

Governor Cooper also signed Executive Order 91, which establishes a new Governor’s Task Force on Connecting North Carolina and directs state government leaders to identify and remove barriers to facilitate private-sector deployment of last-mile infrastructure, eliminate the homework gap, and support the adoption of affordable, high-speed internet access.

N.C. DIT has already begun implementing the report’s recommendations, including the BIO’s continued effort to gather more and better data through surveys such as the Speak Up survey. Speak Up is an annual research project and a free service to all schools and was the first online research tool designed to help parents share their ideas directly with schools and national policymakers. BIO partnered with the N.C. Department of Public Instruction to include homework gap specific questions in the 2018-2019 Speak Up survey.

One way the state is currently working to combat the homework gap is through the State Library of North Carolina and N.C. DIT’s pilot program with the Robeson County Public Library and Public Schools of Robeson County. The pilot program is funded by a $250,000 two-year grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and will provide Robeson County Public Library with 35 Wi-Fi hotspot devices for up to 35 K-12 households.

To access the report, please visit The Homework Gap in North Carolina on the Broadband Infrastructure Office website. To take the Speak Up survey, please visit

NC Drivers May Soon Face Stricter Restrictions on Cell Phone Use

State lawmakers are working on getting a bill passed that would ban NC drivers from talking on their cell phones while operating a motor vehicle.

HB 144 proposes fines for first offenses of talking on the phone while driving. Subsequent convictions would result in fines and insurance points.

Exceptions would allow drivers to talk on cell phones while parked. Drivers 18 and older would also be able to use a mounted cell phone if the call could be placed and ended with a single button.

Drivers who experience emergency situations and emergency responders are exempt under the proposed bill.

The bill needs the approval of the House, Senate and NC governor to officially become law.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) website, North Carolina currently bans texting while driving for all drivers and talking while driving for those younger than 18 and all school bus drivers.

In last week’s Town Talk interview with North Carolina Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Mike Causey, the topic of HB 144 was briefly discussed.

“Distracted driving is the leading cause of deadly accidents today,” said Causey. “Texting and talking while driving have killed so many people needlessly.”

Causey believes the bill, which has been brought up several times in past years, will pass this go around thanks to “broad bipartisan support.”

“The time is now right with the number of deadly accidents and the pressure it’s putting on raising auto insurance rates. It’s a common sense safety move that would also help hold down insurance rates.”

Reardon Talks CBD Products: What’s Legal and What’s Illegal in NC

Joe Reardon, NC’s Assistant Commissioner of Agriculture for Consumer Protection, was on Wednesday’s edition of WIZS’ Town Talk program to discuss the recent explosion in the marketplace of CBD oil and CBD-containing products.

Following up on a press release published in mid-February, Reardon stated that the NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (NCDA&CS) is taking an “educational approach” in making producers and retailers aware of both state and federal laws regarding CBD products.

“We felt with the confusion in the marketplace and the explosion of these products, the most responsible thing the NCDA&CS could do was to educate everybody on what’s federal law, what’s state law and what our expectations of those in NC would be,” Reardon said.

CBD, or Cannabidiol, is a compound derived from the legal product hemp that lacks the psychoactive chemical levels needed to experience the proverbial “high.” According to Reardon, CBD oil should contain 0.3% or less of THC, a psychoactive cannabinoid commonly associated with traditional marijuana.

While CBD has been approved by federal and state law as a drug, Reardon explained that it cannot be legally added or infused in either human or animal food products that are for sale.

Of particular concern to the department, according to Reardon, is the illegal sale of CBD food items traditionally marketed to children including gummies, ice cream and lollipops.

CBD products can also not make health claims, including statements that the product may prevent, treat or cure any disease. Failure to comply could result in embargo or seizure of products.

“We don’t want someone making an uninformed decision,” said Reardon. “We don’t want people on prescription pharmaceuticals to discontinue their medication without consulting their physician.”

The NCDA&CS has sent out approximately 400 letters to CBD manufacturers and retailers detailing what is legal and what is illegal to sell in North Carolina. The letters are prompting phone calls and questions of officials, Reardon said.

“The encouraging thing is that in many places across the state, once we made them aware of the law, they are complying. They say they are not going to continue to order or display CBD food products and they are removing pamphlets from stores that make CBD health claims.”

Reardon said the department will evaluate the effectiveness of this initial, educational campaign and will take a more “aggressive regulatory approach” if needed.

While CBD production is currently unregulated, Reardon said the goal of the NCDA&CS is to work with the State Legislature and the industry to construct a regulatory framework for CBD product that will be sold as tinctures.

“We believe the product needs to be processed in the right environment, we believe the extraction should be done with the most appropriate chemicals and we believe there should be quality control in this process,” Reardon explained.

Until a regulatory framework is in place, Reardon suggests consumers ask questions and do their research before purchasing CBD products. “Find out who processes it, where is it being processed, is it being tested and what is the concentration of the final product.”

Industry with questions about the regulation of CBD can call the Food and Drug Protection Division at (919) 733-7366. You may also visit the NCDA&CS website by clicking here or email Reardon directly at [email protected].

To hear the Town Talk interview with Joe Reardon in its entirety, click here. Reardon’s segment begins at the 17:10 mark.

Warren Co. Coop to Provide Transportation for Free Small Farms Luncheon

-Information and graphic courtesy Warren Co. Cooperative Extension Center

In honor of Small Farms Week – March 24-30, 2019 – the Warren Co. Cooperative Extension Center will provide transportation to a Small Farms Appreciation Luncheon in Greensboro on Wednesday, March 27, 2019.

The luncheon and transportation are free for farmers. You must RSVP by Wednesday, March 13, 2019, to William Landis at (252) 257-3640 if interested in attending.

The Warren Co. Center is also currently accepting canned food donations as part of their 2nd Annual Canned Food Drive. Please drop off donations at Warren Co. Cooperative Extension Center – 158 Rafters Lane, Warrenton, NC – by March 24. Food donations will support Loaves and Fishes Ministries of Warren County.


Triangle North Healthcare Foundation’s 2019 Grant Cycle is Open

-Press Release, Triangle North Healthcare Foundation 

Triangle North Healthcare Foundation’s Board of Directors has announced the launch of its 2019 grant cycle, now open through May 17, 2019.

The Foundation seeks programs and projects that will provide positive results in one or more of the five focus areas: Chronic Disease, Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders, Nutrition and Physical Activity, Reproductive Health, and Success in School as related to Healthy Lifestyles. Nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and schools are eligible to apply.

The link to the Foundation’s online grant application is available at the website: 

Triangle North Healthcare Foundation, a regional healthcare grantmaking organization based in Henderson, NC, is a health legacy foundation that was established in 2011 following the merge of Maria Parham Medical Center and Duke Lifepoint.

The Foundation’s mission– to encourage, support, and invest in quality efforts that measurably improve health in the Triangle North area— is achieved through funding strategic initiatives, programs, and projects that focus on improving health.  The Foundation also supports programs that build capacity and develop leaders for nonprofits in the region.

The Foundation has launched a grant cycle each year since its grantmaking began in 2013. To date, the Foundation has invested over $1.5 million in over 60 projects serving the four counties in the region, Franklin, Granville, Vance, and Warren.

According to the Foundation’s Executive Director Val Short, the Foundation Board’s hope is that through grantee organizations and the people they serve, the Board’s vision for the future of our region will be realized…“to live in a healthy community.”

“Our hope is that the Foundation’s investment of grant funds in our communities will result in long-lasting improvements in the health and wellbeing of our children and adults,” Short said.

The Foundation staff is currently available to discuss ideas for grant projects or to assist with grant writing.  Call 252-598-0763 to schedule an appointment.  Information about current and past funded programs and projects is available on the website at