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Forgotten Victims Event Remembers Lives Lost To Drugs

Fifty-eight white crosses dotted the lawn outside the Vance County Courthouse on Sunday afternoon July 25, 2021. Each represented a life lost to drugs. Or, as Patricia Drewes has said, drug-induced homicide.”

Drewes lost her daughter, Heaven, to a drug overdose. Since her daughter’s death, Drewes has worked to raise awareness and help find resources for families struggling with addiction.

The July 25 event was one way to raise awareness of addiction and its effects on families.

Each cross bore the name, birthdate and date of death of loved ones.

The names and photos also appear on a banner that Drewes said she will carry to similar events across North Carolina, as well as a national event in Washington, D.C.

The heat kept some people away, Drewes said, but she estimated that 150 people turnout out for the afternoon event.

“The most memorable thing was not so much what was said, because we all have the same story,” Drewes told WIZS News Friday. “The most memorable (part) was at the end when the church bells tolled.” Although unplanned, she said hearing those bells was a blessing. “It was a message from God,” she said.

Drewes created a Facebook group called Forgotten Victims Vance, Granville, Franklin, and Warren Counties N.C. which has helped families work through their grief as well as providing support and awareness. “You don’t have to go this alone,” she said. “We’re here to help you as much as possible.”

The harsh reality of addiction is all around, Drewes said. “Don’t ever say ‘not my child’” she warned. (Addiction) doesn’t discriminate. It can happen to anyone’s child,” she said.

To learn more, contact Drewes at 252.204.9611 or via FB through the Forgotten Victims page.

Granville County Observes National Night Out on August 3rd

Granville County municipalities are observing National Night Out Against Crime on Tuesday, Aug. 3. Events are planned in Oxford and Creedmoor and residents are invited to come out and enjoy food and activities.

The Oxford event will be held from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at D.N. Hix Field, located at 313 E. Spring St. There will be free hotdogs, chips, cupcakes, lemonade and tea available, and attendees can participate in lots of activities, from a 3-on-3 basketball tournament to visiting with McGruff the Crime Dog.
In addition, there will be a public safety vehicle display, a food truck rodeo and music at the Oxford event.

The Creedmoor event will be held at South Granville High School from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and includes children’s activities and free hotdogs, popcorn, sno-cones and beverages, according to information from the Granville Chamber of Commerce.

“National Night Out is a unique opportunity for the police department and our community members to bond and build relationships while having a little fun,” said Creedmoor Police Chief Keith King.
Activities include an inflatable obstacle course, impaired-vision course, several emergency vehicle displays and a visit from Duke Life Flight. The Creedmoor Volunteer Fire Department will be on hand to provide water activities, so children are encouraged to wear play clothes and to bring a towel!
Friendly competitions will pair police officers with kids for an obstacle course challenge as well as the ever-popular sixth annual doughnut eating contest.

This year marks the 38th annual National Night Out. More than 16,000 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities and military bases around the world are involved. In all, more than 40 million people are expected to participate in “America’s Night Out Against Crime.”
Volunteers are still needed for the Creedmoor event. If you or your community group would like to volunteer and support this family-friendly event, call Angie Perry, Event Coordinator, at 919.764.1013 or email events@cityofcreedmoor.org.

South Granville High School is located at 701 North Crescent Drive.

SportsTalk: Chris HInes is Bowling His Way to Success

For many years local bowlers made Carolina Lanes their home.  The Henderson bowling facility was operated by Benton Hight for many years but in September of last year Chris Hines purchased the building. It took six months to remodel but on March 5 of this year Before the First Frame opened welcoming bowlers back to Henderson.

Hines said that when Hight, whom he’d known for many years, decided to step back from Carolina Lanes he reached out to him. “When the opportunity presented itself, it was a no brainer,” Hines said about purchasing Carolina Lanes. Hines has been involved in bowling for many years operating and managing pro shops, facilites and is a championship bowler himself. He thought ownership was the next logical step and never really looked beyond the former Carolina Lanes facility once he decided ownership was the path for him to take.  Hight wanted the facility to continue to be used for bowling which made it easy for Hines and Hight to work toward Hines’ dream of owning his own facility.

Since last September Hines has completely remodeled the building, making it feel bigger,  expanded the food menu and brought back summer bowling leagues.  “Business has been better than anticipated,” Hines said. He also says support from the community has been great since reopening in March.

Hines has also just finished with the United States Bowling Congress (USBC) championship in Las Vegas where his group took the championship this year. 7600 teams and around 60,000 people participated in the tournament from May until July. His group has been together for 10 years and he calls the Las Vegas tournament one of the most prestigious bowling events held.

Hines also says he has lots of future plans for Before the First Frame in the future but says none of this would have been possible withouth his family’s support. He called his wife an “unsung hero”.

For more information about Before the First Frame, located on US 158 bypass in Henderson, check out their Facebook page where you will find plenty of information including league schedules for the upcoming fall season.

 

 

The Local Skinny! A Graduation Journey

Journey Coleman is a young woman on a mission. The easy part’s done – she is the first official graduate of Vance County High School’s Class of 2022. Vance County Schools held a graduation ceremony – just for her – on Thursday, July 29 at 3 p.m.

The hard part is yet to come, but Coleman has been determined since she was a little girl, her mother says. The hard part? Beating cancer.

Journey is the younger daughter of Sherronda Minor of Henderson and Richie Coleman of Fremont. She turned 18 in March, just a few months after getting the life-altering news that she had a rare form of cancer called rhabdomyosarcoma.

Her mother spoke with WIZS News last week from her daughter’s hospital room at UNC Hospitals, where she receives her care. She got a chemo treatment on Wednesday, but by Thursday, she had spiked a fever of 102.3 and so back to the hospital she went. She developed pneumonia, Minor said. The chemo compromises her immune system and can cause complications.

Principal Rey Horner, Journey Coleman, Dr. Cindy Bennett

When hospital staff suggested she may not be able to attend the graduation, her mother told the 75 or so in attendance at the graduation that Journey didn’t even consider that an option. VCS Superintendent Dr. Cindy Bennett, along with school board chair Linda Cobb and members of Omega Phi Psi, Inc. and other district officials joined VCHS Principal Rey Horner at the commencement.

“She wasn’t due to graduate until next year,” Minor said. But Journey insisted on completing her course work early. She was not convinced by either her mother or her guidance counselor to shoot for perhaps a mid-year graduation in December, since she spends so much time in hospital getting treatments.

“And here she is, graduating,” Minor said. She said it was heartbreaking to hear her daughter say to her, “Mommy, I just knew I was going to die before I graduate.”

<Click Play for the Graduation Ceremony Audio>

“She had her computer at the hospital,” Minor said. “She was getting chemo and still doing schoolwork.” The plan hit a slight snag when she couldn’t find her charger cord and she couldn’t send her Math 4 work electronically, recalled Journey’s mom. Enter Journey’s godmother, who also happens to work at Vance County High School. She picked up the packet of work and delivered it to school so it could be checked off.

Minor said Journey’s cancer is very rare. It affects the soft muscle tissue. And that’s just what happened with Journey – she complained of pain in her foot. She was visiting her father in Fremont and the parents decided to take her to an orthopedist and podiatrist. After an initial consult on Wednesday, x-rays on Thursday and then an MRI, the parents got the phone call no parent wants to get: “They called us back the next day and said ‘We need to talk,’” Minor recalled.

She started chemotherapy treatments in early October 2020. Since then, doctors tell Minor that Journey’s Stage 4 cancer has spread; despite this news, Journey and her family are still hoping, still praying.

“She’s fighting it unbelievably,” Minor said. “She’s very strong.”

A happy graduate twirls and dances in front of the crowd!

And, once her body has had a chance to recover from the chemo treatments, Journey’s a normal teenager. She and extended family recently returned from a trip to Florida’s SeaWorld, Minor added.

Minor speaks about white counts, updating chemo regimens and regular stays in the hospital for treatments. She knows firsthand about how this all works – she is a cancer survivor herself. She was diagnosed in 2016 and received her care at Maria Parham Health. She is healthy today and said that, back in 2016, she didn’t understand God’s plan for her, why she was having to deal with cancer.

With more clarity now, she said her daughter has a very strong support group of family and friends. Chances are, they all helped to celebrate Journey’s high school graduation Thursday.

The post-graduation festivities include a meal with Journey’s hand-picked favorites: Buttered corn on the cob, collards and ham hock, potato salad, ribs and a ham that her dad is going to prepare. Oh, and cake.

A fitting meal for a deserving young woman and newest graduate of Vance County High School.

Community Partners of Hope

Community Partners Of Hope, Inc. Looking To Hire Community Network Specialist

Community Partners of Hope, Inc. is hiring a part-time “community network specialist” that board members hope will evolve into a full-time executive director role.

CPOH operates Hope House and the men’s homeless shelter in Henderson, and board chair Ronald S. Cava said an ideal candidate would be someone who can focus attention on promotion, funding and community networking rather than day-to-day operations.

“The right person…will be able to move us exponentially toward achieving our vision of providing 360 support for our clients through a full-time, year-round shelter operation,” Cava said in a press statement.

The community network specialist position is a 20-hour per week position that involves collaboration with other agencies, businesses, law enforcement and area congregations to provide support, guidance and visibility for services to homeless men in the area.

Candidates must have at least a high school diploma and experience as a supervisor or manager; candidates with experience working with non-profits or social services connected with at-risk populations receive priority consideration.

In addition to community networking, the job description includes public relations, managing staff schedules and training, pursuing grant opportunities and coordinating program goals and progress for clients.

Email resume and references to:   cpofhope@gmail.com

The Local Skinny! Home and Garden Show 7-28-21

Thank you for listening to WIZS Radio.  Your Community Voice!!

Farmers market and beekeepers update on the show today.  Also, electric fencing around gardens, mosquito mitigation, fall turnips and collards as well as yellowjacket nests.

Click play.

 

‘National Night Out’ In Creedmoor Has Food, Fun For Families

Join the Creedmoor Police Department for National Night Out on Tuesday, Aug. 3 at South Granville High School.

The event will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and includes children’s activities and free hotdogs, popcorn, sno-cones and beverages, according to information from Granville Chamber of Commerce.

“National Night Out is a unique opportunity for the police department and our community members to bond and build relationships while having a little fun,” said Creedmoor Police Chief Keith King.

The event in Creedmoor coincides with thousands of participating communities nationwide to heighten awareness of crime and drug prevention.

Activities include an inflatable obstacle course, impaired-vision course, several emergency vehicle displays and a visit from Duke Life Flight.

The Creedmoor Volunteer Fire Department will be on hand to provide water activities, so children are encouraged to wear play clothes and to bring a towel!

Friendly competitions will pair police officers with kids for an obstacle course challenge as well as the ever-popular sixth annual doughnut eating contest.

The 38th annual National Night Out event is sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch and is co-sponsored by the City of Creedmoor. More than 16,000 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities and military bases around the world are involved. In all, more than 40 million people are expected to participate in “America’s Night Out Against Crime.”

Volunteers are still needed for the event. If you or your community group would like to volunteer and support this family-friendly event, call Angie Perry, event coordinator, at 919.764.1013 or email events@cityofcreedmoor.org.

South Granville High School is located at 701 North Crescent Drive.