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.

Business Spotlight: Midnight Blue Martial Arts

Many people seem to think that Karate is just a “kid thing.” That statement could not be further from the truth. Kim Gupton, the owner and a teacher at Midnight Blue Martial Arts, sat down with Kevin Bullock of WIZS to give you the breakdown.

Gupton said, “Many people think that Karate is just something for their kids to do, and they just watch. I have a parent or two that wants to get on the mat every once in a while, but that’s rare.” Karate was actually invented by adults, for adults.

Gupton also said, “People think that their child is going to get hurt doing karate; not here. We have had less than five people get hurt since we started, and that wasn’t because they did something wrong on the mat.”

Midnight Blue Martial Arts also does cheerleading from September until April, but the Karate lessons and training are year-round.

The process of going from a white belt to a black belt takes about four years. Gupton said, “It’s a four year college for kids and adults.”

When Gupton was asked why she decided to take up Karate, she said, “It gives confidence. I’ve never been in a situation where I was intimidated, because I knew I had this in my back pocket.”

To learn more about Midnight Blue Martial Arts call Kim at 252-438-8896 or visit them on Facebook.

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.

Corbitt Celebration held in Henderson

On Monday morning at 10:00 a.m. the Corbitt Preservation Association in partnership with the City of Henderson, and the Henderson-Vance Chamber of Commerce held at ribbon cutting to celebrate the Bennett H. Perry Jr. Museum in downtown Henderson.

Local dignitaries joined together to celebrate the rich history of The Corbitt Company as well as the City of Henderson.

Charles Powell, president of the Corbitt Preservation Association, said, “This event is a culmination of hard work. We worked 14 years to get to this point. We stayed true to our mission of preserving the Corbitt name, Corbitt products, Corbitt buildings and property, and founding a Corbitt Museum, and we’ve done it.”

However, Powell noted that there is still work to be done.

He said, “There are still people that do not know what a Corbitt is.”

The hours for the Bennett H. Perry Jr. Museum are Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sundays from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. To find out more information about the Bennett H. Perry Jr. Museum, the Corbitt Preservation Association, and the history of The Corbitt Company please visit www.corbitttrucks.com.

Ellington set to lead Henderson-Vance Community Watch Association

Mayor-elect Eddie Ellington is going to be a busy man. Last night at the Golden Corral in Henderson, Eddie Ellington was voted as the next president of the Henderson-Vance Community Watch Association. Ellington succeeded Dr. Gene Wood of the Calvary Baptist Church. Dr. Wood had held the position for the last three years.

Leonard Hight was voted by the board of directors as the new vice president of the Henderson-Vance Community Watch Association at the same meeting to replace Ellington’s vacated seat.

The Henderson-Vance Community Watch Association is widely regarded in North Carolina as it is the only such association in the state.