VGCC graduates 13 cadets in school’s 101st BLET Class

Thirteen cadets graduated on Dec. 15, 2015, from the Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET) program at Vance-Granville Community College, in a ceremony held in the Civic Center on Main Campus. After passing the state certification exam, all are authorized to work in any law enforcement agency in North Carolina.

Graduates of VGCC’s 101st BLET class included Thomas Henry Turner III and Jason Tyler Wright, both of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office; Elliott DeVar Carver of the Granville County Sheriff’s Office; Patrick Ryan Fuqua, Brandon Jay Link and Tiquan Devard Terry, all of the Henderson Police Department; Jason Scott Penshorn and William Keegan Ruark, both of the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation; Travis Ty Womack of the Oxford Police Department; Michael Wayne Martin of the Person County Sheriff’s Office; Tony Joseph Tart of the Vance County Sheriff’s Office; Wilbert Anthony Marrow of the Warren County Sheriff’s Office; and Jamison Patrick Vuolo.

The ceremony began with a presentation of colors by students from the ROTC program at Northern Vance High School, and the singing of the national anthem by NVHS student Jaylen Webb.

In welcoming remarks, Dr. Angela Ballentine, VGCC’s vice president of academic and student affairs, thanked the many leaders from local and state law enforcement agencies in attendance for partnering with the college. “Your support for the BLET program is invaluable,” Ballentine told the law enforcement representatives. “You sponsor our cadets, hire our graduates, provide many of our instructors, and give us feedback and advice. This successful partnership between VGCC and our community improves the safety and quality of life of our region.” She congratulated the graduates on completing the rigorous, 644-hour training program and encouraged them to continue their education.

Speaking on behalf of the class, Cadet Brandon Link praised their instructors, who taught them lessons that would shape their future careers. He called on his classmates to serve and protect “with honesty and pride.”

Graduates selected Sgt. Richard Creech of the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, one of their instructors, to serve as their guest speaker. “Remember in your career to always treat people with respect,” Creech reminded the cadets. “Wearing this badge makes us no better than anyone else, but we are held to a higher standard.”

Andrea Ferguson, the program coordinator, and instructor Glen Boyd presented awards to the top students in the class in three categories. Womack won the “Top Gun” Award for having the highest accuracy score in weapons firing. Ruark earned the Physical Training Award for scoring highest in the various fitness tests the cadets undergo. Wright took home the Academic Achievement Award for having the top grade average in the written tests each cadet must pass.

After all graduates received their certificates, the group recited the “law enforcement code of ethics” published by the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

For more information on the BLET program, contact Ferguson at fergusona@vgcc.edu.

VGCC holds College Day for transferring students

Vance-Granville Community College hosted admissions officers from four-year colleges and universities on Dec. 3 on VGCC’s Main Campus. The event was VGCC’s annual “College Day,” where students obtain important information about transfer requirements, financial aid and scholarships that can help them take the next steps in their educational journeys.

The VGCC Student Learning and Success Center organized the fair in partnership with the Carolinas Association of Collegiate Registrars & Admissions Officers (CACRAO).

VGCC students browsed through displays, picked up informational materials, and talked with representatives from 14 four-year schools. Almost all of the represented colleges and universities were from North Carolina.

Each year, large numbers of students start their higher education at VGCC before transferring to four-year institutions. VGCC has numerous articulation agreements with four-year schools (both public and private) that allow students to transfer credits in various programs. The VGCC College Transfer program provides students with the first two years of a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree. College Transfer courses are offered at all four VGCC campuses and online. In recent years, the comprehensive articulation agreements between all North Carolina community colleges, the UNC System and the private N.C. Independent Colleges and Universities have been revised with clearer pathways. Graduates of the Associate in Arts and Associate in Science programs at VGCC are guaranteed admission into one of the 16 UNC schools, typically transferring in with the standing of juniors.

High school students in one of the four Early College programs operated by VGCC in partnership with local public school systems can earn up to two years of college-transferable credit, tuition-free.

For more information on enrolling at VGCC and transfer options, contact the Student Learning and Success Center at studentsuccess@vgcc.edu or (252) 738-3330, or visit any campus.

Granville County Criminal Superior Court

Oxford, NC – Granville County Criminal Superior Court was held during the week of December 7, 2015. Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Robert H. Hobgood presided during the session. The Office of District Attorney Mike Waters was represented by Assistant District Attorneys Allison S. Capps, Tasha C. Gardner and Michael W. Putney, Jr.

The week-long session began with the trial of State of North Carolina vs. Stevie Roberts. Mr. Roberts was charged with Driving While Impaired which was alleged to have occurred on December 7, 2012. Mr. Roberts was represented by attorney A. Chance Wilkinson. At the close of all evidence and arguments of counsel, the jury convicted Mr. Roberts of a Level 5 DWI. Mr. Roberts received a 60-day sentence, which was suspended for 24 months of supervised probation.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Michael W. Putney, Jr. The case was investigated by Officer S.C. Slinkard of Butner Public Safety under the leadership of Chief Danny Roberts.

On Thursday, December 10, 2015, a plea was entered in the case of State of North Carolina vs. Rodriquez Teshawn Thomas. Mr. Thomas was charged with First Degree Murder and Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon in the September 25,2013 death of Musleh Mohamed Saleh Qayed. Mr. Thomas
pleaded guilty to Second Degree Murder and Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon. He was represented by attorneys David R. Waters and Joyce Fischer. Mr. Thomas was sentenced by Judge Hobgood to two consecutive, active sentences of 365 to 450 months and 78 to 106 months in the North Carolina
Department of Adult Correction.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Allison S. Capps and Tasha C. Gardner. The case was investigated by Retired Detective B. Strother and Detective C. Williams of the Granville County Sheriff’s Office under the leadership of Sheriff Brindell B. Wilkins.

Please feel free to visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/District-Attorney-9th-Prosecutorial-District-1339203609439246/ to see this press release and the accompanying photo.

(Information provided to WIZS by The Office of Mike Waters by press release.)

VGCC holds New Student Orientation sessions before Spring Semester

Registration continues for spring semester classes at Vance-Granville Community College, and the college will offer a final set of opportunities for prospective students to attend an orientation session on campus. Students also now have the option of attending orientation in an online format. The spring semester begins Monday, Jan. 11, with 12-week classes beginning on Feb. 9.

At VGCC’s Main Campus in Vance County, an orientation session is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 7, at 2 p.m.

Other orientation sessions are available for new students who are only taking 12-week classes. The Franklin County Campus near Louisburg has an orientation session scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 12, at 2 p.m. VGCC’s South Campus (between Creedmoor and Butner) is scheduled to hold an orientation session on Thursday, Jan. 14, at 9 a.m.

Attending an orientation session is required for all new students who wish to enroll in any of the college’s curriculum programs, and for students who are returning to VGCC after being away for three or more years. Students must also meet with an advisor or academic/career coach before registering for classes.

To attend an orientation session, a student must sign up in advance by visiting orientation.vgcc.edu.

In either the online or traditional format, orientation sessions help students learn where to find resources on campus or online, including how to register for classes through WebAdvisor. Immediately following a general orientation session, each student will meet with an academic advisor and have the opportunity to register for classes the same day.

The upcoming semester’s course schedule is available online at schedules.vgcc.edu.

For students who register in January, the deadline to pay tuition and fees is Thursday, Jan. 7, by 5 p.m. if paying in person, or by midnight if paying online.

For more information, contact VGCC at studentsuccess@vgcc.edu or (252) 738-3330, or visit any campus. VGCC is closed for the holidays from Dec. 21, 2015 through Jan. 1, 2016, re-opening on Monday, Jan. 4, 2016.

Granville Chamber’s Small Business Saturday Recap

The Granville County Chamber of Commerce kicked off their first-ever Small Business Saturday – Shop Local emphasis for Saturday, November 28th.  Preparation for the event included several preparation sessions, scheduled around Granville County, which included updating their Google information.

Small business owners were encouraged to participate by providing reasons for people to Shop Granville First on Small Business Saturday – the Saturday following Thanksgiving.

Reasons to patronize small businesses in Granville County on that particular day included coupons, specials, promotions designed to drive traffic into businesses, etc.  Business patrons of small businesses in the county took “passports” into the businesses where they shopped and then had the passports stamped/signed at the business.  Passports were turned in to one of the Chamber’s offices.  Grand prize winners were determined by the amount of different business stamps on a passport.

Grand prize winners were Deborah Lunsford and Doug and Vickie Logan.  Other prize winners were Steve and Marie Jones, Kim Dean and Mike and Barbara Felts.

Many businesses donated items for the Shop Small canvas bags that were distributed at the Chamber’s Thanksgiving breakfast.  Passports and Shop Small bags were also available at both Chamber offices the morning of Saturday, November 28th.

The Chamber’s Board of Directors is already planning for 2016 Small Business Saturday.

Donors of Small Business Saturday prizes were:  Butner-Creedmoor News, Coble Printing, Creedmoor Drug, Creedmoor Wellness Center, Curves of Butner-Creedmoor, Gentle Touch Reflexology, Gil-man Florist, Granville Gun Works, Lawn Ranger Services, M & M Consultants, Nan’s Young Fashions, Oxford Ace Hardware, Quality Drugs, Stovall’s Gifts and This ‘n That.

Granville Chamber Banquet to feature WRAL’s Scott Mason

The Granville County Chamber’s Annual Banquet has been scheduled for Monday evening, January 25th, 6:30 pm in Vance-Granville Community College’s Main Campus Civic Center.

Meetings committee chairman William Adcock announces that the evening will once again include the presentation of the Chamber’s most prestigious award, the John Penn Citizen of the Year Award, recognizing outstanding community service.

Guest presenter for the evening will be Scott Mason, Reporter, WRAL-TV and “The Tarheel Traveler”.  Mason is a broadcast journalist with more than 30 years of television experience.  Scott has worked as a reporter and bureau chief for several network affiliates.  His success caught the attention of WRAL-TV.  In April, 1997, Scott became the station’s Documentary Producer.  He researched, wrote and produced nine documentaries before adding his talents to the nightly news team as a reporter specializing in features.

Today, Scott is known as the Tar Heel Traveler.  His Monday-Thursday features series on WRAL takes viewers along the back roads of North Carolina where he meets memorable characters, finds out-of-the-way places and unearths fascinating historical footnotes.  The series has become so popular it has led to Tar Heel Traveler half-hour specials, which Scott produces each quarter.

A buffet dinner will be provided by Chamber member Ted’s Catering.  Tickets are $40 each.  Corporate tables of 8, with reserved seating, are available for $300.00.  Corporate tables of 10, reserved seating, are available for $380.00.  Tickets/reservations are required prior to the event – by January 15th.   Checks or credit card payments are accepted by contacting one of the Chamber’s offices –  919.693.6125/Wanda, wanda@granville-chamber.com or 919.528.4994/Toni Anne, tawheeler@granville-chamber.com.

Banquet sponsors are:  Duke Energy/Presenting Sponsor;  BB&T, CertainTeed, Granville Health System, The School of Graphic Arts and Time Warner Cable.

Three VGCC Paralegal program graduates are first to become state-certified

The Paralegal Technology program at Vance-Granville Community College can now boast a 100 percent passing rate on the state certification exam, after three of the program’s first graduates recently became North Carolina Certified Paralegals.

Kevin Ward Allen of Franklinton, employed with the Law Office of T. Allen Gardner in Louisburg, Kristy Hope Orr of Henderson, employed with the law firm of Perry & Waters in Henderson, and Michelle R. Williams of Raleigh, employed with the law firm of Howard, Stallings, From, Hutson, Atkins, Angell & Davis in Raleigh, sat for the paralegal certification exam at the North Carolina State Bar in October. All three passed, becoming trailblazers for the two-year VGCC program, just as they were when they were among the first seven to earn their degrees in May 2015.

VGCC Paralegal Technology graduates have the opportunity to become certified because the program was designated as a “Qualified Paralegal Studies Program” by the State Bar earlier this year. The certification program is voluntary for North Carolina paralegals. Certified paralegals are required to take continuing education courses, helping them to stay current in the legal field and in turn enhancing the quality of legal services they provide to attorneys and clients.

The 150-question certification exam tests the paralegal’s knowledge of the following areas of law: Civil Litigation; Commercial Law; Criminal Law; Ethics; Family Law; Legal Research; Real Property; and Wills, Trusts & Estate Administration.

“We are so proud that all three of our first graduates to take the exam were successful on their first attempt,” said Antoinette C. Dickens, the Paralegal Technology program head/instructor for the college. “Kevin, Kristy and Michelle are outstanding representatives of VGCC and of their employers.”

All three will now be designated as N.C. Certified Paralegals (NCCP). Most other states recognize certifications from accredited certification agencies and organizations and extend reciprocity, as well.

“We are proud not only of our students, but of our faculty who have facilitated their professional growth,” said Bobbie Jo May, dean of the college’s Franklin County Campus, where the Paralegal program has been based since its inception in 2013.

For more information on the program, call Antoinette Dickens at (252) 738-3609 or (919) 496-1567, ext. 3609.