NC Farm School

NC Farm School: An educational value for new and transitioning farmers

Paul McKenzie, Agricultural Extension Agent for Vance and Warren Counties tells WIZS News: “We are pleased to announce the launch of the Eastern Piedmont NC Farm School for new and transitioning farmers in Franklin, Nash, Wake, and Warren Counties as well as surrounding areas!  The program was developed to provide a resource to the numerous people visiting the local Cooperative Extension offices seeking help to grow crops, raise livestock, sell to local markets, handle employees, learn regulations, follow restrictions and generate revenues.

“The NC Farm School is not like any other program offered in the state!  Nowhere else can you learn from specialists and current farmers about budgeting skills, marketing expertise, and record keeping.  Participants even get to visit local farms in supporting counties to see how these farms operate.  It is the best combination to teach business and production while helping to ensure the success of students who attend.”

Kelly Connor, a graduate of NC Farm School in the Southern Piedmont, told McKenzie, “It would have taken my brothers and I at least 20 years to get the information and education we have received in the short time attending NC Farm School.  This program is worth more than double the price.”

If you are interested in attending the Eastern Piedmont NC Farm School, or want to hear more testimonies from farmers who attended the NC Farm Schools, visit the NC Farm School website at, or your local Cooperative Extension Office for more information on how to apply.  An interest meeting will be held on January 5, 2016 at the Franklin County Cooperative Extension Office (103 S. Bickett Blvd, Louisburg NC) at 6:30PM.

(Information for this article received from:)

Paul McKenzie
Agricultural Extension Agent, Vance/Warren Counties
NC Cooperative Extension
305 Young St., Henderson, NC  27536

158 Rafters Ln., Warrenton, NC 27589
252.438.8188 (Vance)  252.257.3640 (Warren)

252.213.6095 (cell)       @pgmckenzie

This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

News 12/22/15

First Presbyterian Music Outreach

Clarke Elementary School students are benefiting from a music outreach program provided by First Presbyterian Church of Henderson.


The grant program allows for a music therapist, Cheryl Benze, to visit with special needs students in three classrooms each Wednesday and lead them in music activities. The activities provide lots of opportunities for the students to be actively involved as Benze plays songs on her guitar they can sing along to and dance to, as well as providing instruments for the children to use in songs.Cheryl Benze (VCS Presbyterian Outreach)

Benze visits with students in the classrooms of Jennifer Southerland, Cynthia Moore and Alka Singh. In each classroom, she sits on the floor in a circle with the students. Benze begins the sessions by playing her guitar and singing to each student by name, “Hello, It’s Nice to See You,” as shown in the accompanying photo. The students happily clap their hands and sing along. Benze also plays the guitar as she and the students stand and dance to more music.

She leads a second activity where the students each play instruments including bells, shakers, tambourines, small drums and wooden sticks. Benze directs them in each song as to when to play their instruments.

“The kids absolutely love this,” Moore noted as she watched her students totally enthralled in every song. “This just really makes their day!”

In another activity, each student has a bell with a different pitch and Benze directs them with sheet music, that is color coordinated with the color of their bells, on the appropriate time for them to sound the bells.

Benze says she has now visited each of the classrooms for the last three weeks, with plans to continue throughout the school year.

“Our church has developed this music outreach program and grant funding covers all of the costs,” Benze said. “We really enjoy doing this and see it as very worthwhile for the children. They all love music.”

She added that there are plans to expand the music therapy sessions with students in other local elementary schools.

(Information provided in a news release from Vance County Schools)

Arrest for Recent Robberies

On Tuesday, December 15, 2015, members of the Henderson Police Department Criminal Investigation Division, North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement Agency, and the Vance County Sheriff’s Department arrested an individual for recent robberies in the Henderson area.dejon williams

Dejon Williams, 24, of 720 Highland Avenue, Henderson has been charged with one count of robbery with a dangerous weapon in reference to a robbery reported at Citi Trends, 399 Raleigh Road on December 5, 2015.  Williams was also charged with one count of robbery with a dangerous weapon in regards to an incident at Cruizer’s, 800 Dabney Drive, on December 14th.

Williams was placed in the Vance County Jail after failing to post a 200,000.00 secured bond in these matters.  The investigation in these matters is still ongoing and additional charges could be forth coming.

Press Release Authority: Chief Marcus Barrow

News 12/21/15

News 12/18/15

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

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 or (252) 738-3330, or visit any campus.

Animal Kingdom 12/16/15

Utility Pole Problem

A utility pole problem has emergency personnel on the scene near Lowes Home Improvement in Henderson, as of our latest check at 10:43 A.M.

Fire Chief Steve Cordell confirmed at 10:00 A.M. that he had a crew on the scene and that the problem was dispatched as “a utility pole on fire.”

Those within ear shot reported to WIZS News that two loud booms were heard shortly after 9:30 A.M.

Cordell said there was a failure of an insulator on one of the power lines.  Without the insulator in place, two electrical lines were able to touch, resulting in arcing.

There are no injuries.

A few lingering power outages are possible for another hour or so, according to Cordell, who stated he had received information from Duke Energy Progress.

Power service to WIZS was affected for about 45 minutes, but power has now been restored to the radio station.