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Cooperative Extension Announces the 2023-24 Youth Leadership Council Cohort


Granville County Youth Leadership Council represent the crucial role that youth have in shaping the future. Particularly the youth voice in Granville County. The Council is a platform that empowers young minds to actively participate in decision-making processes, fostering a sense of responsibility and commitment to community development. Members are not only representatives of youth civic engagement, but they are architects of change bringing new ideas and opportunities to the community. Comprising of talented and passionate young leaders, the Youth Council members are poised to make significant impacts and contributions to Granville County.

The GCYLC members were chosen from a pool of applicants comprised of students from High Schools across Granville County. The term of office runs from September 2023-June 2024. The new members joining the council for the 23-24 year are: Ana Black, District 4; Josef Black, District 4; Claire Glavin, District 7; Jacquelin Jose, District 4; Kaylee Overby, District 5; Dylan Roseman, District 5 and Nathanael Royster, District 7. These new members have hit the ground running and already involved in many activities.

GCYLC Members 2023-2024 Term
Jermaine Puryear, Jr., Chair, Board Liaison, District 3
Elaina Eley, Vice Chair, Board Liaison, District 6
Amber Necessary, Secretary, Board Liaison, District 6
Jaden Easow, Treasurer, Board Liaison, District 6
Iesha Landis, Social Events Chair, Board Liaison, District 6
Cassie Peele, Media and Public Relations Chair, Board Liaison, District 2
Vashti Pearson, Social Media/Content Creator, Board Liaison, District 5
Asia Abdul-Haqq, Board Liaison, District 5
Joydan Johnson, Board Liaison, District 6
Ana Black, Board Liaison, District 4
Josef Black, Board Liaison, District 4
Claire Glavin, Board Liaison, District 7
Jacquelin Jose, Board Liaison, District 4
Kaylee Overby, Board Liaison, District 5
Dylan Roseman, Board Liaison, District 5
Nathanael Royster, Board Liaison, District 7


The purpose of this council is to ensure that youth in the community have a voice, but most importantly, that their voices are heard, recognized and valued. During their tenure, they will gain invaluable leadership skills through their service on selected county boards, outreach, initiatives and youth-led projects. The members have already been hard at work, holding a strategic planning session retreat in November.

Members divided into committees where they worked diligently on plans for future initiatives. The day ended with some team building activities at Palace Pointe. The Council has ambitious plans for the future. From launching a Teen Clothing Closet, sponsoring a Teen Night, developing a mental health proposal for teens, and hosting community forums and discussions. These young leaders are determined to make a lasting impact. By fostering an environment that encourages collaboration and innovation, the Youth Council aims to create a community where the aspirations of youth are not only acknowledged but actively supported. They will not only provide a voice to the County Commissioners, but they will actively serve on boards such as the HumanRelations Committee, Veterans Affairs, Board of Trustees with the Library, etc.

The Youth Leadership Council presented their annual report at the commissioners meeting on November 6, 2023. They discussed their accomplishments from the previous year and their plans for the future. If you would like to learn more about the Council and their activities, please visit their website at

Support local students this holiday season through the VGCCF Festival of Trees Online Silent Auction


HENDERSON, NC (November 9, 2023) — Get into the holiday spirit and give back to your community during the 2023 Festival of Trees Online Silent Auction, hosted by the VGCC Foundation! Bid on beautiful, pre-decorated holiday trees from November 12–19, available to take home before Thanksgiving. All fundraiser proceeds will benefit the VGCC Foundation and students in need—providing scholarships, emergency assistance, and more.


· Decorated trees will be on display at the VGCC Main Campus Civic Center (200 Community College Rd, Henderson, NC).

· View trees in-person November 13–17, 8 am–3 pm. Photos will also be available on the college’s Facebook Event page.

· Winners must pick up their trees by 5 pm on Tuesday, November 21.

Access the auction by visiting


In addition to supporting students, the Vance-Granville Community College Foundation supports a broad range of special projects involving education, training, and economic development in our community. Tax-deductible donations to VGCCF have often been used to honor a person, group, business, or industry with a lasting gift to education. For more information about the Festival of Trees auction or the VGCC Foundation, contact VGCCF at or 252-431-5913.




About Vance-Granville Community College: Established in 1969, VGCC is one of the 58 institutions of the North Carolina Community College System. With a service area the size of Rhode Island, VGCC is the local source for higher education and training in Vance, Granville, Franklin and Warren counties. VGCC offers more than 40 curriculum programs, as well as Continuing Education, High School Equivalency, and Adult High School Diploma programs.


Contact: Courtney Cissel, Public Information Officer • 252-738-3484

J.F. Webb students experience biotech innovation at Vance-Granville

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LOUISBURG, NC (November 7, 2023) — On October 27, Vance-Granville Community College’s Franklin Campus welcomed students from Oxford’s J.F. Webb High School for a hands-on biotechnology demonstration.


The two dozen students who traveled to Louisburg and explored VGCC’s biotech laboratory became the first high school group to utilize some of the college’s latest equipment. Used for nucleic acid sequencing, the new lab equipment was funded by the U.S. Economic Development Association’s 2022 Build Back Better Regional Challenge award.


Dr. Andrew Pais, instructor for Bioprocess/Biotechnology, led the day’s in-depth DNA sequencing.


“In a matter of five hours, students experienced the entire process of identifying unknown samples from DNA, starting with the operation of lab equipment needed to process samples and ending with a computer workshop on how to convert physical DNA into a readable sequence,” Pais explained. “I’ve done plenty of science outreach in my academic career but never at this depth and scope of content covered.”


Students also had the opportunity to learn about biotech industry careers firsthand. During a lunchtime session, Stephanie Luther of Thermo Fisher Scientific, a global lab equipment supplier, highlighted some of the many life-changing career opportunities related to the field of biotechnology. VGCC prepares students for such careers through programs that range from approximately two months to about two years, depending upon the level of credential desired.


“There has never been a more exciting time for students to be involved in biotechnology training programs at VGCC,” observed Stewart Lyon, Vance-Granville’s program head for Bioprocess/Biotechnology. “We are so fortunate to have great industry partners like Thermo Fisher Scientific who guide and support our biotech programs. Their involvement is testament to the amazing career opportunities that exist within biotechnology-related industries.”


The VGCC Bioprocess/Biotechnology program welcomes other school groups to plan field trips to the lab and expose their students to biotech activities and careers. If you are a school leader interested in planning a visit, or if you are searching for a great career path in this field, contact or 252-738-3632.




Caption for photo “VGCC welcomes JF Webb 10272023.jpg”: Dr. Andrew Pais, instructor for Bioprocess/Biotechnology at Vance-Granville Community College, guides visiting students during a lab exercise.


About Vance-Granville Community College: Established in 1969, VGCC is one of the 58 institutions of the North Carolina Community College System. With a service area the size of Rhode Island, VGCC is the local source for higher education and training in Vance, Granville, Franklin and Warren counties. VGCC offers more than 40 curriculum programs, as well as Continuing Education, High School Equivalency, and Adult High School Diploma programs.

Contact: Courtney Cissel, Public Information Officer • • 252-738-3484

Recreation Master Plan Open House on November 8

GRANVILLE COUNTY PARKS, GREENWAYS, AND RECREATION ADVISORY COMMITTEE: The Granville County Parks, Greenways, and Recreation Advisory Committee will host an open house for the public to review the draft results of the Granville County Recreation Master Plan.

The open house will be held on Wednesday, November 8 at the Granville County Convention and Expo Center (4185 US Highway 15, Oxford). The event will run from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. All interested in attending can
drop by any time during that window to view the results and give feedback to county staff, elected officials, members of the advisory committee, and the consultant team.

The Recreation Master Plan will guide the future development and funding of recreation amenities in all parts of Granville County. County staff have worked with the Parks, Greenways, and Recreation Advisory Committee to gather public input and develop strategies and goals for Granville County to achieve in the coming years.

For more information about the Granville County Recreation Master Plan, contact Deputy County Manager
Korena Weichel at (919) 603-1366 or email

November 7 Municipal Election Information

GRANVILLE COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS: The 2023 Municipal Election will be held on Tuesday, November 7.

Polls will be open from 6:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. on Election Day. Effective with the 2023 Municipal Election, valid photo identification is required to vote. Information about approved forms of identification and North Carolina’s voter photo ID requirement can be found on the NC State Board of Elections website:

To verify your voter registration is current and valid, to view a sample ballot, or to confirm your precinct and polling place, please use the Board of Elections voter lookup tool:

An important note for this year’s election, the polling place formerly listed as Creedmoor Elementary School is now listed as G.C. Hawley Middle School, which relocated to the former location of Creedmoor Elementary (305 East Wilton Avenue, Creedmoor) earlier this year. Voters who are accustomed to voting at Creedmoor Elementary will still report to the same facility, which now has a different name.


A full list of precincts can be found here: content/uploads/2023/09/Precinct-List-Revised-July-2023-Voting-Locations-.pdf


Offices on 2023 Municipal Election Slate
• Town of Butner Council (3)
• Town of Butner Mayor
• City of Creedmoor Commissioner (3)
• City of Creedmoor Mayor
• City of Oxford Commissioner (3)
• City of Oxford Mayor
• Town of Stem Commissioner (2)
• Town of Stem Commissioner – Complete Unexpired Term
• Town of Stem Mayor
• Town of Stovall Commissioner (3)

For more information about voting in Granville County, please visit the Board of Elections website ( or call 919-693-2515.

Dr. Ramona Cox named new VGCC Associate Vice President

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HENDERSON, NC (October 27, 2023) — Vance-Granville Community College is excited to welcome Ramona Cox, Ed.D., as its incoming Associate Vice President of Student Services.


Cox is a proven educational leader with over 20 years of professional experience in higher education administration and student/academic support services. In addition, Cox holds 10 years of classroom teaching experience. Having a background in both academic and student affairs administration has afforded her the opportunity to effectively bridge these two areas in support of student success efforts.


Cox comes to Vance-Granville from Rio Salado College in Tempe, Arizona, where she served as the Dean of Student Affairs. Prior to this position, she served as the Executive Director for the Department of Defense STARBASE Maxwell program in Alabama. STARBASE is a nationally recognized STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education program that serves underserved and/or underrepresented student populations across the nation.


Cox has held several senior administrator positions within higher education, including Dean of Faculty & Student Services for Florida’s Miami Dade College and Division Director of Arizona’s Maricopa Center for Learning & Instruction (MCLI). During her time at Maricopa Community College, she and her team successfully supported the strategic efforts of ten college presidents, the Executive Vice Chancellor/Provost, the Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, and division administrators.


Cox previously spent more than a decade working at various North Carolina educational institutions, including the state’s public school and community college systems. In addition, she served as the Director of University - K-12 School Partnerships for North Carolina Central University and the Coordinator of Student Recruitment & Retention for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Education.


Cox holds a doctorate in Educational Leadership & Cultural Foundations from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, as well as a post-master’s certificate in College Teaching & Adult Learning from the same institution. She also holds two master’s degrees, including a Master of Arts in Instruction & Curriculum from the University of Colorado at Boulder.


Dr. Cox is expected to assume her role at Vance-Granville Community College on November 13.




About Vance-Granville Community College: Established in 1969, VGCC is one of the 58 institutions of the North Carolina Community College System. With a service area the size of Rhode Island, VGCC is the local source for higher education and training in Vance, Granville, Franklin and Warren counties. VGCC offers more than 40 curriculum programs, as well as Continuing Education, High School Equivalency, and Adult High School Diploma programs.


Contact: Courtney Cissel, Public Information Officer • 252-738-3484

Dr. Richard Pacca Solidifies Long-Standing Relationship with Granville Health System


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Granville County– October 30, 2023– Granville Health System (GHS) is thrilled to announce that Dr. Richard Pacca, who has been a dedicated Cardiologist at Granville Health System for more than 13 years, has made the significant decision to officially join our team as an employed provider at Granville Health System’s Granville Heart and Vascular practice. This move further solidifies Dr. Pacca's longstanding commitment to our community, and we couldn't be more pleased to have him as a permanent fixture within our healthcare family.


Dr. Pacca completed his medical journey at the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine and honed his skills during his residency in internal medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston. Subsequently, he acquired a specialized focus in cardiology during his fellowship at Lahey Clinical Medical Center in Burlington, MA. Over the years, Dr. Pacca has provided unparalleled service to Granville patients, demonstrating both clinical expertise and genuine compassion.


As a full-time provider at Granville Heart & Vascular, Dr. Pacca will continue to offer a wide range of cardiovascular services to our patients, including but not limited to:


• Diagnosis and treatment of heart conditions

• Cardiac imaging and diagnostic testing

• Interventional cardiology procedures

• Preventive cardiology and risk assessment

• Management of heart disease and related conditions


Dr. Pacca is known for his commitment to providing patient-centered care and fostering strong relationships with his patients. His passion for advancing cardiovascular health aligns perfectly with Granville Health System's mission to improve the well-being of the communities we serve.


Dr. Pacca stated, "I'm very excited to officially be a part of the GHS team. It's something I have thought about doing for a long time now, and I'm so glad we were able to make it happen. I look forward to working with GHS to improve Granville Heart and Vascular and cardiology care in the local community.”


Adam McConnell, Granville Health System's CEO, emphasized the significance of Dr. Pacca's move. "Having Dr. Pacca as a full-time member emphasizes the strength and continuity of our commitment to heart health. His immense knowledge and heartfelt dedication will continue to be assets we, and the community, treasure."


To schedule a consultation with Dr. Richard Pacca at Granville Heart & Vascular, please reach out at 919-690-8853.

For a deeper insight into Granville Health System and our wide array of services, visit



Media Contact:

Lauren B. Roberson

Marketing & Foundation Director


Granville Health System Board of Trustees names Adam McConnell as Granville Health's CEO


OXFORD, NC – October 24, 2023 –Granville Health System (GHS) is pleased to announce the appointment of Adam McConnell as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the organization. The decision was made by the Granville Health System Board of Trustees, following a comprehensive search process, and will take effect immediately.


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David Smith, Chairman of the GHS Board of Trustees, commented, "The Board of Trustees is thrilled to officially appoint Adam McConnell as Granville Health's CEO," stated David Smith, Chair of the GHS Board of Trustees. "Adam's extensive experience within our organization, coupled with his strategic vision for healthcare delivery, made him the clear choice to lead us into the future. We have full confidence that his leadership will enhance our ability to provide top-quality care to our community."


Having devoted over five years to GHS, Adam McConnell's leadership has been instrumental. In his role as CFO, he brought innovative financial strategies to the forefront, bolstered hospital operations, and consistently championed the pursuit of excellence in Granville County's Health System. His tenure is marked by visionary leadership complemented by a consistent record of achievements within our organization.


Reflecting on his appointment, Adam McConnell remarked, “I am profoundly grateful for this new responsibility. My commitment remains steadfast to the ideals and objectives that position GHS as a pillar of trust in healthcare for our community. Alongside our passionate team, our focus will be unwavering on patient-centric care, and active community involvement.”


The Board of Trustees and the entire GHS community are excited about this appointment and look forward to the continued growth and success of Granville Health System under Mr. McConnell's leadership.


Granville Health System reaffirms its enduring pledge to provide unparalleled care and services to the residents of Granville County and its neighboring areas.


About Granville Health System:


For over a century, Granville Health System has been at the forefront of quality healthcare. To cater to the evolving needs of its community, Granville Health System has extended its services throughout Granville County, ensuring convenient medical care access for its residents. The Granville Health System main campus can be found at 1010 College Street, Oxford, North Carolina. For more details, visit GHS online at


For media inquiries, please contact:

Lauren Roberson, Marketing & Foundation Director


Qualified Granville Residents Sought for Advisory Board and Committee Vacancies

GRANVILLE COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS: The Granville County Board of Commissioners is seeking qualified applicants to fill roles on several citizen advisory boards and committees. Most positions will be filled by citizens who reside in the district listed, but final appointment decisions are at the discretion of the Board of Commissioners. Additionally, some positions must be filled by residents that reside within the Extra-Territorial Jurisdiction of a municipality (ETJ), which is roughly a one-mile radius outside of the municipal limits. These appointees serve as county representatives on those municipal advisory boards.


Applications are available on the Granville County website at this link: Completed applications should be returned to Debra Weary, Clerk to the Board of Commissioners, by email at, hand delivered in person to the County Administration Office located at 104 Belle Street in Oxford, or by mail to PO Box 906 Oxford, NC 27565 to the attention of Debra Weary.

To verify your district, please visit the NC State Board of Elections website: Look for the district number beside “County Commissioner” under “your jurisdictions.” If you need additional information, contact the Granville County Addressing and GIS Mapping Coordinator at 919-692-1278.

Detailed information about each committee can be found on the Granville County website:

Vacant seats are available for the following boards and committees:

• Adult Home Care Community Advisory Committee (two At-Large seats). New members must complete a 36-hour training course completed in three phases.

• Butner Board of Adjustment (ETJ Alternate, should reside in District 7). The Butner Board of Adjustmentmeets monthly on Thursdays at 7 p.m.

• Butner Planning Board (ETJ, should reside in District 7). The Butner Planning Board meets monthly on Thursdays at 7 p.m.

• Granville County Planning Board (District 7). The Planning Board meets monthly on Thursdays at 7 p.m.

• Human Relations Commission (Districts 6 and 7). The Human Relations Commission meets monthly on Mondays at 7 p.m.

• Juvenile Crime Prevention Council (District 7). The Juvenile Crime Prevention Council meets monthly on
Fridays at 10 a.m.

• Nursing Home Community Advisory Committee (At-Large). New members must complete a 36-hour training course completed in three phases.

• Oxford Planning Board (ETJ – two seats). The Oxford Planning Board meets monthly on Mondays at 5:30 p.m.

• Social Services (one appointed by Granville County and one appointed by the NC Social Services Commission). The Board of Social Services meets monthly on Tuesdays at 5 p.m.

2023 Annual State Inspection of GCPS Buses Complete 



The State of NC recently completed its annual inspection of all GCPS buses, including an audit of the Transportation Department’s inventory, control processes, and safety records. In conducting the inspection, officials assign point values to violations or defects, so the lower the score, the better the overall results. For the fourth year in a row, GCPS received an overall score better than the state average. 


This year’s score was 14.50, which was not only lower than last year’s score of 23.33 but also the district's best score ever. While this year’s bus inspections are ongoing in the region, the average for other schools in our region last year was 34.21. After reviewing the final official report, Superintendent Winborne offered his thoughts, saying, “Our Transportation Department has consistently shown they are dedicated to ensuring our bus fleet is as safe as possible for our students and staff. For the second year in a row, there were zero problems related to major safety violations with regard to brakes, tires, steering, or fuel leaks on our yellow school buses. The Transportation Department has done an excellent job.” 


All public school transportation departments receive an annual inspection from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and use a standardized inspection process. This process is extremely strict and allows for minimal errors of any kind related to the safe operation of school buses. 


Dr. Winborne went on to say, “While this report shows outstanding work from our Transportation Department, it also reflects our bus drivers’ daily commitment to bus safety. Our drivers are on the front lines of keeping our students safe as we transport them to and from school. Their contribution to our education program is immeasurable.” 


Dr. Chris Ham, the Director of Transportation, offered his perspective, stating, “We have worked hard to continue the trend of excellence in the GCPS Transportation Department. I appreciate the hard work and dedication of each person on this team. The score we earned this year is just one reflection of how seriously each member of our team takes this job. I am proud of this team.”

Vance-Granville, Richmond Community College partner to expand reach of 911 telecommunicators program

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HENDERSON, NC (October 16, 2023) – Vance-Granville Community College (VGCC) has teamed up with Richmond Community College to offer a new 911 telecommunications program to residents of Vance, Granville, Franklin, and Warren counties.


The two community colleges recently signed an agreement that will allow students at VGCC to enroll in RichmondCC’s online program to obtain an associate degree in 911 Communications & Operations. VGCC students will complete a majority of the core courses and the work-based learning portion of the program through RichmondCC while completing other general education requirements at VGCC.


“VGCC is pleased to partner with Richmond Community College to offer the 911 operator degree. Collaborations like these allow us to offer needed training and credentials to our community while being fiscally responsible,” said Dr. Rachel Desmarais, president of VGCC.


The online degree program provides a pathway for individuals who are interested in starting a career in this field, as well as providing skills enhancement for those already working as 911 telecommunicators.


The college curriculum program was developed when the NC 911 Board reached out to RichmondCC about a need for standardization in training 911 telecommunicators, plus a need to help elevate this career field. The college worked closely with the NC 911 Board and the NC Department of Information Technology to construct the online program.


“We appreciate Vance-Granville coming on board in this collaborative career training partnership to give 911 telecommunicators, who are true public servants, better educational opportunities and career growth,” said Dr. Dale McInnis, president of RichmondCC. “We look forward to working with our neighbors in the Piedmont.”


Unique in the state of North Carolina, RichmondCC’s 911 Communications & Operations program welcomed its first class of students during the fall 2023 semester.


RichmondCC has been reaching out to other community colleges in the state to make the 911 telecommunications program and its resources available to more students. VGCC is the fourth NC community college to create such a partnership with RichmondCC; Bladen Community College, Gaston College, and Stanly Community College will also be extending the program to their students.


Richmond Community College’s Main Campus is in the city of Hamlet, located near the South Carolina border between the cities of Charlotte and Fayetteville.


For more information about the online 911 Communications & Operations associate degree, call RichmondCC at 910-410-1700. For more information about VGCC, visit


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Leaders from Vance-Granville Community College stand with leaders from Richmond Community College. Pictured from left to right: Jamison Sears, RichmondCC 911 Communications & Operations Program Coordinator; Dr. Miriam Huntley, RichmondCC Dean of Business Technologies & Public Services; Kevin Parsons, RichmondCC Vice President for Instruction; Dr. Rachel Desmarais, VGCC President; Dr. Kim Sepich, VGCC Vice President of Learning, Student Engagement & Success; and Dr. Brandy Bowling, VGCC Dean of Arts & Sciences.

October Is Down Syndrome Awareness Month: A Time to Celebrate, Educate, and Advocate

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month - Health | Wellness | Dentist ...


Raleigh, N.C. – October is recognized as Down Syndrome Awareness Month, a time dedicated to celebrating the lives and achievements of individuals with Down syndrome, while raising awareness about the challenges they face and advocating for inclusivity and acceptance.


Down syndrome is a genetic condition that occurs when an individual is born with an extra copy of chromosome 21. It affects approximately one in every 700 births in the United States, making it the most common chromosomal condition. Despite the challenges, individuals with Down syndrome lead fulfilling lives and make significant contributions to their communities.


Down Syndrome Awareness Month provides an opportunity for individuals and organizations to engage in meaningful conversations, challenge stereotypes, and foster a society where everyone is valued and included, regardless of their abilities or differences.


"Down Syndrome Awareness Month is a great opportunity to empower individuals with Down syndrome and encourage understanding and inclusion," said N.C. Rep. Frank Sossamon, R-Granville, Vance.


The National Down Syndrome Society enjoys celebrating individuals with Down syndrome all throughout the year, but especially in October. This year, NDSS is encouraging supporters to get involved in the following ways:


Join their 21 Day Inclusion Challenge

Join the Facebook Group Challenge yourself this October and commit to accomplishing a goal of your choice for 21 days out of the month. Join our Facebook group and start your fundraiser today and connect with other individuals in the community. Keep raising money to earn more swag!


Send a DSAM E-card

Make a donation to NDSS and send an e-card in honor of someone to celebrate this month!


Share our Down Syndrome Awareness Month facts on your social media channels. You can use the version we created or take the template and add your own photos on Canva.


Download DSAM Fact Cards*You will need to click 'Download' in the top left corner to access the zip file of 31 fact cards and an intro card to share on social media throughout the month of October!


Download editable DSAM Fact Cards*You can download an editable version and add your own photos of your loved ones through Canva


To learn more about Down syndrome and get involved in your local community, please visit


Contact Clai Keel, (919) 733-5824


Rep. Sossamon Secures Critical Funding in Budget

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The North Carolina General Assembly gave final approval to the 2023-24 Budget, which passed with bipartisan support. The budget appropriates $30 billion to fund new projects across the state, including significant investments in water and sewer improvements, transportation, school safety, teacher and state employee raises, and economic development.


Over the biennium, taxes will be cut by $1.2 billion for families and businesses, ensuring hardworking citizens can keep more of their hard-earned money. Furthermore, the Rainy-Day Fund grows to nearly $5 billion for potential economic downturns and natural disasters.


Locally, Rep. Frank Sossamon secured the following items in the budget for Granville & Vance Counties:

1. $11.5 million for Vance-Granville Community College Advanced Manufacturing Center and Related Equipment

2. $10 million for City of Oxford Kerr Lake Regional Water

3. $5 million for Maria Parham Healthcare Center, Inc. Capital Improvements or Equipment for Improving Mental Health and Substance Abuse Outcome

4. $5 million for South Granville Water & Sewer

5. $4 million for Vance County Water

6. $3 million for Vance-Granville Community College Capital Improvements or Equipment for Transportation Center

7. $2.93 million for Dillon Juvenile Detention Center in Butner

8. $1 million for Granville County Economic Development

9. $691,536 for Vance County Sheriff’s Office Body-Worn Cameras and Other Equipment

10. $500,000 for Town of Butner Infrastructure Study & Downtown Revitalization

11. $500,000 for City of Henderson Aeronautics Authority Water Line Extension

12. $283,875 for the Division of Central Management to expand existing apprenticeship placements through Rural Health Group Inc.

13. $250,000 for City of Creedmoor City Hall Renovation

14. $200,000 for City of Henderson Water and Sewer

15. $150,000 for Vance County Economic Development


“I look forward to seeing the great impact these projects will have on my community,” said Rep. Sossamon (R-Vance, Granville). “This budget will allow our state to continue to receive recognition as a great place to own a business and live.”


The budget also includes additional funding for teacher pay supplements in rural and underserved areas. This will bring a yearly pay boost of $4,466 for Granville County and $4,158 for Vance County teachers.


Statewide budget highlights include:


1. 7.4% raise for teachers

2. 7% raise for state employees

3. 9% raise for bus drivers

4. 4% cost-of-living bonus for state retirees

5. Universal private K-12 school tuition assistance

6.  $2 billion for water and sewer improvement projects

7. $620 million for behavioral mental health programs

8. $70 million for school safety grants



Donique LaMar Joins Veterans Services Office Staff 




GRANVILLE COUNTY VETEARNS SERVICES: Granville County recently welcomed Donique LaMar as the new  Veterans Services Technician (VST). LaMar will work under the direction of Veterans Services Officer (VS0) Albert  “A.J.” Spiess to assist local Veterans and their families with navigating the complex processes to access Veterans  resources at the state and federal level. 


Originally from Columbus, Georgia, LaMar comes to Granville County with five years of service in the United  States Marine Corps along with sixteen years of experience in various public sector fields including electrical  system maintenance, logistics, and customer service. He joined the Marine Corps in September 2001, just days  before September 11th and served in Operation Iraqi Freedom One and Operation Iraqi Freedom Two as Aviation  Technician in Electronic Countermeasures. LaMar was deployed consecutively for more than twelve months during this time. LaMar spent most of his military career stationed at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River in Onslow County, NC. He achieved the rank of Lance Corporal (LCPL) before leaving military service in 2006. 


Since entering civilian life, LaMar has earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration and master’s  degree in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. He currently resides in Butner and has a five year old son. 


“I am honored and privileged to serve the Veterans of Granville County as their new Veterans Services  Technician,” said LaMar. “Serving and working with Veterans and their families has become my passion. I’m  excited to work with VSO A.J. Spiess to continue to improve the critical services offered by the Veterans Services  Office and make Granville County a top destination for Veterans to live. I know that my life experience, both  successes and failures, has led me to this position where my life experience will enable me to help Veterans who  have experienced similar moments in their life.” 


The Granville County Veterans Services Office is located at 141 Williamsboro Street, Oxford with a satellite office  at Creedmoor City Hall (111 Masonic Street, Creedmoor). The office hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30  a.m. to 5:00 p.m. for the Oxford location and Wednesdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in Creedmoor. To learn  more about the services and programs offered, visit the Granville County website  ( or call 919-693-1484.

Vance-Granville Community College joins AdvanceNC, an innovative regional coalition driving workforce readiness



SANFORD, NC (September 22, 2023) — Education and workforce development organizations throughout central North Carolina put pen to paper Thursday (Sept. 21, 2023), creating AdvanceNC, a new coalition Gov. Roy Cooper predicted would become “a mighty force” preparing North Carolinians for jobs in a vibrant, ever-changing economy.


AdvanceNC is formally described as “an innovative workforce development ecosystem developing a robust talent pipeline to support unprecedented economic growth in central North Carolina.”


What it boils down to is 10 community colleges, two state universities and six regional workforce development boards combining what they do best to provide opportunity for local families and develop expert workers for the exploding number of advanced manufacturing companies in the region. Though AdvanceNC focuses on 18 counties, it also is being promoted as a model that can be replicated all across the state.



Speaking to an audience at Central Carolina Community College's E. Eugene Moore Manufacturing and Biotech Solutions Center in Sanford, Gov. Cooper explained why this new coalition has so much promise. “North Carolina has the best array of public and private universities in the country, bar none …. And I can say without hesitation that we have the best community college system in the entire country,” he said. “When you couple that with our effective workforce development boards and their staff, it is a sight to see.


“All of them working together is a mighty force and the collaboration that will come with AdvanceNC, this initiative, it will do more than I can think of to help prepare our workforce for the jobs of today and tomorrow.”


Community colleges have long been a driving force statewide in workforce development. The North Carolina Community College System offers a sweeping portfolio of initiatives designed to train workers for new careers and help companies develop workers already on the job. But because those apprenticeships and courses are offered by individual colleges with well-defined service areas, it’s not always simple to work across borders.


During the signing ceremony, Dr. Jeff Cox, president of the North Carolina Community College System, said that reality is one reason AdvanceNC is needed. “Companies don’t care anything about our little territories for individual community colleges,” he said. “They don’t want to know about competition between the universities and the community colleges. They want us all working together to meet their workforce needs. And that’s what this represents, 100 percent.”


Less than two years ago, Toyota announced it would build a new $1.29 billion automotive battery manufacturing plant at a Randolph County location not far from Greensboro that would create 1,750 new jobs. And the company added another $2.1 billion investment to that project just four months ago.


More big news broke just months after the initial Toyota announcement, in March 2022, when Vietnamese electric vehicle manufacturer VinFast announced a $4 billion advanced manufacturing plant near Moncure that is expected to create 7,500 jobs. VinFast was the largest economic development project in North Carolina history — for about five months. That’s when Wolfspeed, a silicon carbide manufacturer based in Durham, announced early last September that it would invest $5 billion to create a new manufacturing center that would bring 1,800 jobs to Siler City.


Such rapid expansion required a new approach to workforce development. But Rodney Carson, president of the North Carolina Association of Workforce Development Boards, isn’t worried about the state’s ability to adapt. Reflecting on innovations from early in his own workforce development career, Carson believes that the solution is finding new ways to develop workers, something North Carolina has done before.


“I think about how we pushed the envelope when it comes to workforce development,” Carson said. “AdvanceNC does exactly that. We continue to push the envelope on what workforce and the workforce ecosystem is in North Carolina. We were, 27 years ago, the shining example of what workforce development is in this country as a whole. AdvanceNC pushes that envelope even further and continues to push us out to the edge of what it means to truly take care of our citizens.”


It was a sentiment shared by Peter Hans, president of the University of North Carolina System. He reflected on North Carolina’s transformation over generations from an agricultural economy based largely on textiles and tobacco, into major hubs for research and banking, and now into the kind of advanced manufacturing center defined by Toyota, VinFast and Wolfspeed.


“At every turn, North Carolina has trusted in the capacity of its people to learn, to adapt and compete,” Hans said. “We may be a valley of humility, as the old saying goes, but we’ve always known that a properly educated North Carolinian can tackle any challenge and master any new field on God’s green earth. So our task is to make sure that every one of our citizens has that opportunity and that anyone with the drive and the talent can play a role in building the future of this great state.”


AdvanceNC partners include the following community colleges, universities, and workforce development boards:


  • Community Colleges – Alamance, Central Carolina, Durham Tech, Fayetteville Tech, Johnston, Piedmont, Randolph, Sandhills, Vance-Granville, and Wake Tech
  • Universities – NC A&T State University and NC State University
  • Workforce Development Boards – Capital Area, Durham, Kerr-Tar, Lumber River, Mid-Carolina, and Piedmont Triad Regional


Central Carolina Community College President Dr. Lisa M. Chapman introduced the ceremony with some statistics for the 18-county region. One of them was a huge labor force of 1.5 million — a group that offers a wealth of talent. The goal of AdvanceNC, she said, is to make sure those workers have the right skills to take advantage of the opportunities now available. And that companies can find the highly skilled workers they need — not only now, but for decades to come.


“We are great at attracting businesses to North Carolina and it is great for our residents, because that means family-sustaining wages and that means a great life for North Carolinians,” she said. “But we need to make sure that we don’t simply attract those businesses … but that we do an exceptional job of keeping them here and supporting them in the way that we need to.”


As Gov. Cooper said, “North Carolina is the top state for business thanks to our well trained, talented and diverse workforce. The AdvanceNC initiative will help prepare our students for the jobs of today and tomorrow.”




NC Governor Roy Cooper, NC Community College System President Dr. Jeff Cox, UNC System President Peter Hans, and NC Association of Workforce Development Boards President Rodney Carson joins with officials from 10 community colleges, two universities and six workforce development boards to celebrate the beginning of the AdvanceNC regional workforce development partnership.


NC Governor Roy Cooper says, “North Carolina is the top state for business thanks to our well trained, talented and diverse workforce. The AdvanceNC initiative will help prepare our students for the jobs of today and tomorrow.”


About Vance-Granville Community College: Established in 1969, VGCC is one of the 58 institutions of the North Carolina Community College System. With a service area the size of Rhode Island, VGCC is the local source for higher education and training in Vance, Granville, Franklin and Warren counties. VGCC offers more than 40 curriculum programs, as well as Continuing Education, High School Equivalency, and Adult High School Diploma programs.


Contact: Courtney Cissel, Public Information Officer • 252-738-3484


Image result for Tar River Land Conservancy's application

LOUISBURG, NC – The Land Trust Accreditation Commission administers an accreditation program to recognize land conservation organizations that meet national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever. Tar River Land Conservancy, which was accredited in 2013 and re-accredited in 2018, is pleased to announce it is applying for renewal of accreditation. A public comment period is now open.


The Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, will conduct an extensive review of Tar River Land Conservancy’s policies and programs. The Commission invites public input and accepts signed, written comments on pending applications. Comments must relate to how Tar River Land Conservancy complies with national quality standards. These standards address the ethical and technical operation of a land trust. For the full list of standards, visit


To learn more about the accreditation program and to submit a comment, visit, or email your comment to Comments may also be mailed to the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, Attn: Public Comments, 36 Phila Street, Suite 2, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866.


Comments to the Land Trust Accreditation Commission regarding Tar River Land Conservancy’s application will be most useful by December 9, 2023.




Tar River Land Conservancy is a nationally-accredited land trust that works to preserve natural resources across Edgecombe, Franklin, Granville, Halifax, Nash, Person, Vance, and Warren Counties, North Carolina. Since 2000, Tar River Land Conservancy has protected 23,038 acres of land and 199 miles of streams. For more information, please visit

Coming soon: Empower Her

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A community event for women, by women, to equip women


HENDERSON, NC (September 23, 2023) — Mark your calendars for Empower Her, a community event for women, by women, to equip women! The Vance-Granville Community College Foundation is proud to present this event on Saturday, October 7 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the college’s Main Campus Courtyard, located at 200 Community College Road in Henderson.


Come for FREE information and resources from local community partners. Enjoy free activities for kids, food, giveaways, and more:


· Dress for Success Mobile Boutique

· Meal Planning on a Dime

· Financial Counseling

· Make-up Tips

· Career Advice


In addition to providing scholarships to deserving students, the VGCC Foundation supports a broad range of special projects involving education, training, and economic development in our community. Tax-deductible donations to VGCCF have often been used to honor a person, group, business, or industry with a lasting gift to education.


For more information about Empower Her or the VGCC Foundation, contact 252-738-3264 or




About Vance-Granville Community College: Established in 1969, VGCC is one of the 58 institutions of the North Carolina Community College System. With a service area the size of Rhode Island, VGCC is the local source for higher education and training in Vance, Granville, Franklin and Warren counties. VGCC offers more than 40 curriculum programs, as well as Continuing Education, High School Equivalency, and Adult High School Diploma programs.


Contact: Courtney Cissel, Public Information Officer • 252-738-3484

Senior Center Hosting VGCC Band Fall Concert


GRANVILLE COUNTY SENIOR SERVICES: Granville County Senior Services will host the Vance-Granville Community College Band for an hour of entertainment on Saturday, September 30 at 4:00 p.m. The event will be held at the Granville County Senior Center located at 107 Lanier Street in Oxford. The program will consist of waltzes, marches, medleys of popular and classical tunes, and other selections such as might be played by the
Boston Pops Orchestra. This event is free and open to the public. Those in attendance are invited to stay after the program for light refreshments. For more information about this event, contact the Granville County Senior Center at 919-693-1930.

Dr. Natalie Hobdy Joins Granville Health System Primary Care Practice in Oxford


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Oxford, NC, September 13, 2023 -- Granville Health System (GHS) is delighted to welcome Dr. Natalie Hobdy to the Granville Primary Care practice. She will join the team at the primary care practice situated on the GHS campus in Oxford, NC.


Adam McConnell, Interim CEO of Granville Health System, shared his excitement, saying, "Granville Health System consistently draws top-tier professionals like Dr. Hobdy. Her dedication to patient-centered care mirrors our ethos. We aspire to be the go-to primary care provider for Granville County, ever-committed to promoting well-being, accelerating healing, and inspiring hope in our communities."


A Board-Certified Family Physician, Dr. Hobdy gained significant medical expertise at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas. Reflecting on her approach to patient care, she remarked, "I'm thrilled to be part of a system with robust support, enabling the thorough, patient-centered care I stand by. My training at John Peter Smith in Texas and at Essentia Health in Minnesota has prepared me well for rural practices catering to all ages and stages of life. I'm confident in leveraging my skills for the benefit of this community and deeply value the opportunity to care for patients and their families comprehensively."


Over the years, Granville Health System has steadfastly committed to improving its physician services and facilities, with ongoing expansion efforts. GHS has welcomed numerous accomplished providers across diverse specialties, such as primary care, OB/GYN, ENT, and gastroenterology.


Granville Primary Care is located at 110 Professional Park Drive, Oxford. For appointments, call 919.693.6541 or visit online at


About Granville Health System:


For over a century, Granville Health System has been at the forefront of quality healthcare. To cater to the evolving needs of its community, Granville Health System has extended its services throughout Granville County, ensuring convenient medical care access for its residents. The Granville Health System main campus can be found at 1010 College Street, Oxford, North Carolina. For more details, visit GHS online at


For media inquiries, please contact:

Lauren Roberson, Marketing & Foundation Director


GCPS Student Academic Achievement Increases

2022-23 Test Results Released:  

GCPS Student Academic Achievement Increases 


On Wednesday, September 6, 2023, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) released the results of student standardized test data for the 2022-23 school year.  The student test scores from the state standardized tests taken during the past school year are collected, verified, and analyzed to provide different understandings of how students performed academically.   


In GCPS, over half of all schools either exceeded or met growth overall, which represents significant progress since the pandemic began.  Across the state, 72% of all NC schools met or exceeded growth.  Three schools, Butner-Stem Elementary School, Granville Early College High School, and CG Credle Elementary School were each identified as having exceeded growth.


“The results from this past year indicate that as a district, we have improved overall, but much work still remains.  Our principals and staff have been reviewing these results since June and have put in place new plans for the 2023-2024 school year with different district priorities.  We are focused forward”.


In a press release from NCDPI on September 6, 2022, Dr. Tammy Howard, Senior Director of the NC Office of Accountability and Testing, “We are continuing to experience some of the impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Howard said. “As we look at the data, the school performance grades and other information from the 2022-23 school year, it’s very important to note that while it’s informative, it is limited, and it is discouraged to make comparisons to 2018-19, which is prior to the pandemic.” 


In that same press release, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Catherine Truit also shared “It’s hard to overstate the impact of the pandemic,” Truitt said, “but teachers across North Carolina are working harder than ever to help students recover, and more importantly, advance in their learning. We owe them our gratitude for meeting this challenge to improve outcomes for students.”


All four high schools, as well as the K-12 Granville Academy, showed improvement in both growth and student achievement. In fact, South Granville High School and Granville Central High School both improved a letter grade as compared to 2021-22. One less school in the district is designated Low Performing as compared to 2021-22. Overall, the percentage of students performing at grade level improved slightly compared to the 2021-22 school year.


Board Chairman, Glenda Williams had these thoughts to share regarding the results, “I am very proud and grateful of the hard work and dedication of our educators.  They should be commended for the support and love they have provided their students.”

County Manager Drew Cummings to Host Listening Sessions


GRANVILLE COUNTY ADMINISTRATION: Granville County Manager Drew Cummings will host a series of listening sessions in each Granville County district from September through November 2023. The listening sessions will provide the opportunity for members of the public to learn more about county government, the role of the County Manager, and to ask questions or give feedback about county operations in a relaxed informal environment. Cummings will be joined by members of the Granville County Board of Commissioners along with other county staff members.

“We have had an eventful year since I began as County Manager and I thought it was time to get out in the community and make sure that I’m getting face-to-face time with our residents,” said Cummings. “I have spent
time in all corners of Granville during my tenure as County Manager, but I’m really looking forward to getting to know some of these communities better and to having the time to sit down and talk with our residents. I think it’s critical to my performance that each citizen can inform me about the issues that are truly important to them.”

The listening sessions will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the dates and locations listed below:
• Thursday, September 14 at Stem Ruritan Club (3595 Old NC 75, Stem)
• Thursday, October 5 at Granville County Senior Center (107 Lanier Street, Oxford)
• Thursday, October 12 at Tar River Elementary (2642 Philo White Road, Franklinton)
• Tuesday, October 17 at Camp Oak Hill (1528 Oak Hill Road, Oxford)
• Thursday, October 26 at Creedmoor Community Center (116 Douglas Drive, Creedmoor)
• Monday, October 30 at Butner Town Hall (415 Central Avenue, Butner)
• Tuesday, November 14 at Stovall Library (300 Main Street, Stovall)

For more information, contact the Granville County Administration Office at 919-693-5240.

Press Release: Oxford Oaks Distillery



Verdigris Restaurant at Oxford Oaks Distillery promotes Marc Cavanaugh to Executive Chef


Oxford Oaks Distillery LLC is pleased today to announce that it has promoted Granville County native Marc  Cavanaugh from Kitchen Manager to Executive Chef of its on-site restaurant Verdigris. Returning to  Oxford from Dallas, TX in March, Chef Marc has utilized his extensive experience and skills to provide  outstanding food service to Verdigris Restaurant guests over the past few months as Kitchen Manager. His  new role now includes direct accountability for all of the kitchen business operations and will work with  Head Chef Joshua Robinson on menu creation and special events.  

"We are excited to promote Chef Marc to lead our growing culinary team. He has done everything asked  of him over these past few months and we couldn’t be more pleased with his commitment to this project.  His ability to produce exceptional food and bring fresh ideas is something we are absolutely thrilled  about," commented Founding Partner Dr. Peter Johnson.  


Chef Marc brings exceptional culinary talent to the team and continues to contribute to the momentum in  the local culinary scene. He grew up in Oxford and has worked in the restaurant industry for almost 20  years. Being classically trained with a degree in Culinary Arts by Le Cordon Bleu and Master Chefs from the  Culinary Institute of America, he brings vast experience in fine dining, fast casual dining, wedding and  event venue food service as well as upscale restaurants.  


 “It is an honor to lead the culinary team in Oxford's new “must visit” venue. We are just shy of 6 months  in operation and the team we have makes it feel like it’s an establishment that has years of operation  under its belt. Teams with that kind of chemistry are hard to come by and I have to say without question  this is the best team I’ve had the chance to lead in my professional career. I look forward to bringing  Oxford and the surrounding areas a culinary experience that sets the standard when going out for a great  meal. We have had outstanding reviews and I credit that to the team I have in the kitchen making this  happen. I have really loved the opportunity to come back home and bring the region more elevated  cuisine. I am continuously grateful to the community for accepting this new restaurant concept with open  arms, it’s safe to say we are here to stay for many years to come. I look forward to launching  new seasonal menus and specialty dinners for all to enjoy what I call “Passion on a Plate”, Executive Chef  Marc said.  


About Oxford Oaks Distillery LLC: Oxford Oaks Distillery is Granville County’s first craft distillery  featuring a specialty cocktail bar and upscale restaurant where the community can gather and enjoy fine  spirits, elevated cocktails and delicious cuisine located in the heart of downtown Oxford, North Carolina.  There is a main first floor dining room and bar with a “loft” area on the second floor with seating  overlooking the main dining room. There are three separate private and semi-private event areas for  groups ranging from 20-100 people. The restaurant has been open since March 2023. 

Former Granville Street Library to Receive Historical Marker



GRANVILLE COUNTY LIBRARY SYSTEM: The site of the former Granville Street Colored Library will be recognized  with an historic marker, which will be unveiled to the public on Friday, September 15 at 12:00 p.m. The event  will be in front of the former Granville Street Colored Library located at 314 Granville Street in Oxford. The  public is invited to the celebration of this important Granville County historical landmark, which will feature  remarks from former US Representative G.K. Butterfield. 


The Granville Street Colored Library opened its doors to the African American community on June 12, 1942.  Maude Warren Lassiter served as the library’s director for many years and she and the library hold a special  place in the history of Oxford and Granville County. The Granville Street Colored Library received visits from  numerous African American leaders throughout its history including poet and social activist Langston Hughes,  

educator and President of Howard University Mordecai Johnson, and historian and longtime Duke University  professor John Hope Franklin. In 1965, the Granville County Library System integrated and added the Granville  Street Library as a new branch. Helen Currin Amis served as Branch Manager until 1975 when the Granville  Street branch closed and was merged with the Richard H. Thornton Library. 


The historical marker was made possible by a partnership between the Granville County Library System Board of  Trustees and First Baptist Church of Oxford. Funding for the marker came from the Granville County Library  System Memorial Fund. 


For more information about the event, contact the Thornton Branch Library at 919-693-1121. 

City of Oxford News Release


Frequently Asked Question: Why is Sewer Line Construction Taking Place During Daylight Hours Instead of Evening?


The city has been abuzz with a recurring question: Why is the ongoing sewer line construction being conducted during the daytime rather than at night? This strategic decision has been made to prioritize the safety of workers, residents, and commuters while ensuring the improvement of infrastructure.


This project is funded by a state agency, and it does not include the additional cost of work performed in the evening.


Evening construction activities will lead to additional costs of more than $1.5 million that the funding agency will not pay for. This financial increase is due to the necessity of paying higher wages to compensate workers for their overnight labor, the increased time it takes to do the work, the additional equipment such as lights, and more staff to address safety concerns. Daytime construction reduces the potential for accidental damage to existing infrastructure, such as water and sewer lines, internet, gas, and power lines. Also, there is an increased risk of damage to vehicles, equipment, buildings, and injuries or death to workers. In addition to worker safety, it is easier to manage vehicle traffic and pedestrians during the daytime, lowering the risk of accidents and incidents.


Supplies such as asphalt are available during the day. If the work is done during the evening hours, the cost of asphalt will be higher due to asphalt companies staying open later. In addition to the increased cost, it takes longer for the contractor to perform the work because they are managing more risks, it is more difficult to obtain supplies, and it makes them less efficient. Even though it is inconvenient, it is still the most cost-effective way to complete the work.


Will the Sewer Line Project Take Place During the NC Hot Sauce Contest & Festival?


No, the sewer line project will not occur during the NC Hot Sauce Contest & Festival. To ensure the success of the festival and to minimize disruptions for attendees and participants, it has been decided to temporarily suspend all construction work during the event. Once the festival concludes, construction work will resume as planned.


Projected Work Completion Schedule


The City of Oxford anticipates the sewer line construction to be complete on Hillsboro Street from Lewis to College and Bank Street, along with milling and overlaying of the utility patch on Hillsboro Street, around the beginning of November and before the Christmas shopping season. Unless unforeseen construction complications or weather-related factors arise that might affect the projected timeline.



For any inquiries, concerns, or questions, please direct them to our Communications Specialist, Sabrina Richards, at


Dedicated Educator Awarded $15,000 GO Grant for Innovative Environmental Project


Abigail McKenzie, an esteemed educator at Butner-Stem Elementary, has been honored with a prestigious $15,000 GO Grant from the N.C. Youth Outdoor Engagement Commission. The award, presented by N.C. House of Representative Frank Sossamon, recognizes McKenzie's commitment to advancing outdoor learning experiences for students.


L to R:  BSES Principal, Dr. Day-Heggie, Abigail McKenzie, NC Representative Frank Sossamon


With the newly acquired grant, McKenzie envisions a groundbreaking initiative that will transform the school's educational landscape. Her visionary project involves the establishment of a state-of-the-art greenhouse facility within the school premises. The greenhouse will serve dual purposes: providing a sustainable source of fresh fruits and vegetables for the cafeteria and offering an immersive learning environment for the students. This innovative project not only addresses the importance of healthy nutrition but also creates hands-on opportunities for students to delve into the world of agriculture, biology, and environmental science. The N.C. Youth Outdoor Engagement Commission's GO Grant has long been recognized as a catalyst for transformative educational initiatives. Abigail McKenzie's pursuit of excellence perfectly aligns with the Commission's mission, and her grant is a testament to her exceptional contributions to the advancement of student engagement and environmental awareness.

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