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Progress 2012

Our home, and so much more Sunday, August 26, 2012

Inside: Leisure/Hospitality Downtown Henderson Tourism Health Real estate/Construction Agriculture


The Daily Dispatch

Progress 2012

Sunday, August 26, 2012


Rest and relaxation are here

Even the spots for ‘roughing it’ have their amenities – if you want them BY ALLIE RAE MAUSER DISPATCH STAFF

Henderson offers the perfect setting for a variety of leisure activities. With one of the biggest lakes in the Southeast providing 850 miles of beautiful wooded beaches, the area bestows plenty of locations well-equipped for camping, nature walking, bird watching, golfing and peaceful serenity. Campers can choose from seven state parks and over 700 campsites. Many sites have access to picnic tables, fire pits, modern restrooms and hot showers which makes “roughing it” a bit easier. There are two bed and breakfast locations in Henderson, often providing some of the most accommodating and laid-back activities of all. The Lamplight Inn on Tobacco Farm Campground resides on a 150-year-old, 5-acre tobacco farm, just a short drive to the lake’s recreation area. It includes an abundance of relaxing activities. “It’s really like a five-acre playground,” said Shirley Payne, the innkeeper. “A lot of people bring corn hole, and I have multiple porch swings, horseshoe pitching and croquet. There’s also room to hit golf balls or play catch.” There is a campground in back of the inn where Payne said RV campers gather around fire pits, enjoy cookouts, and residents migrate to mingle and enjoy a barbecue with new friends. “It’s like one big happy family back there, people get very friendly,” Payne said. The Lamplight Inn also has a tobacco museum in a curing barn, which depicts how farmers used to cure tobacco in the days of wood firing. “The curing barn is actually built with hand hewn beams making it a piece of artwork in itself,” Payne said. There’s also a fresh-air fitness center complete with red carpet, crystal chandeliers and stained


Casper Graves (left) helps his daughter, Isha Winder, put up her tent at Hibernia recreation area at Kerr Lake. Graves is from Maryland and was camping for the weekend with family and friends. glass windows. A full breakfast is served each morning and guests can enjoy 24-hour snacks and beverages. Another quaint bed and breakfast located in Henderson is Run of the Mill, nestled on 72 rolling, wooded acres surrounding Weldon’s Mill and pond. Weldon’s Mill is one of the most picturesque sites in Vance County and it has been nominated for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. The location used to be an 18th century gristmill which consists of a two-story structure resting on a high stone foundation with the overshot wheel and sluice still in place. The property specialized in

activities such as hiking, bird watching, canoeing and fishing. SaddleRock Farm is located adjacent to the bed and breakfast where guests can take riding lessons, guided trail rides or enjoy a romantic carriage ride. Accommodations include wi-fi throughout the home, telephones on each floor, an exercise/game room with kitchenette, and quiet nooks for reading. And of course, breakfast each morning in the dining room or on the gazebo overlooking the falls. More accommodations around Kerr Lake can be found by visiting Contact the writer at amauser@

Camping • Kerr Lake State Park 700 campsites, 13 picnic areas, three community buildings, shelters, fishing piers, seven tot lots, 21 boat ramps and swimming areas. • Steele Creek Marina & Campground Wet slips, mooring sites, waterfront campsites with and without electric hook-ups, hot showers, dump station, gas store, supplies, fuel and four launching ramps. • Tobacco Farm Campground & RV Camp & Cabins (Lamplight Inn) RV camping, rustic cabins, mini tobacco farm museum, bed and breakfast inn located on a 150-year-old, 5-acre tobacco farm. Located a mile from Kerr Lake’s Flemingtown Wildlife ramps. • Watkins Family Campground Full hook-up with 30 amp sites for RV’s and motorhomes.


Educating our Future • Northern Vance and Southern Vance high schools ranked among top 73 high schools in North Carolina by U.S. News & World Report magazine • Aycock Elementary School and Vance County Early College High School are N.C. Schools of Distinction • 10 additional schools are N.C. Schools of Progress • 12 of our 16 schools met at least expected growth under the state ABC Accountability Plan • 7 schools met high growth standards required by the state • Western Vance High School is an alternative high school setting meeting high growth standards • 1:1 Initiative program provides laptop computers for all high school students and offers technology to enhance their classroom instruction • The new Early High School Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) program opens for the 2012-2013 school year serving approximately 100 sixth graders • Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) is an instructional focus offered in three local elementary schools to enhance the learning experience of students • High school students earn certifications in Microsoft applications • High school dropout rate and graduation rates continue to improve Website:

Progress 2012

The Daily Dispatch

downtown henderson


Sunday, August 26, 2012


Regaining a foothold Kerr Lake, Satterwhite Point Marina continue to reel ‘em in


according to a recent statement from North Carolina Gov. Bev PerTourism in Vance County is a due. All 100 counties across the vibrant and growing boost for the state saw increases in visitor spendeconomy, with revenues for 2011 ing in 2011. back above 2007 and 2008 highs. Seven counties showed doubleThe 2011 total of $41.76 million digit increases compared to 2010, in 2011 was up a million from 2008. according to data from the N.C. That is also a 7.8-percent Depar tment of Comincrease from 2010’s merce’s Division of Tour$38.74 million, and more Tourism Director ism, Film and Spor ts t h a n $ 5 m i l l i o n b e t - Nancy Wilson said De ve lop men t ci te d in ter than the 2009 year that some special Purdue’s statement. total that was a five-year events are Mecklenburg, Wake throwback from steady and Guilfor d counties yearly gains, according emerging to p o s t e d more than $1 to the N.C. Depar tment generate new billion in visitor spendo f To u r i s m r e s e a r c h tourism dollars. ing in 2011, and Dare, data. The inventory of Buncombe, Forsyth and H e n d e r s o n - V a n c e events includes Durham counties posted County Chamber of Commore than half a billion July 4 merce Director John as brought in by tourist Bar nes said he saw the celebrations, visitors. numbers as a tribute to fishing Purdue said that intranatural advantages of tournaments that state and interstate tourthe lake attractions and run from May ists combined to spend redoubled efforts to pro$ 1 8 b i l l i o n l a s t y e a r, through October mote those advantages. a new record and up 8 and the annual “I’m glad to hear it is percent from 2010, with going up,” Bar nes said. Show, Shine, Shag local tax revenues boost“I think Ker r Lake and and Dine event, a ed to nearly $561 million the Satter white Point main event for and state tax receipts to Marina is an attractive the region. nearly $1 billion. draw. It is a beautiful “Tourism means neararea and one of the main ly 200,000 jobs across reasons for the increase.” Nor th Carolina,” Purdue said in a Tourism Director Nancy Wilson prepared statement. “The depth of said that some special events are the state’s appeal is reflected in the emerging to generate new tourism fact that ever y corner of North Cardollars. The inventor y of events olina benefited from tourism. More includes July 4 celebrations, fishing tournaments that run from May than 37 million people experienced through October and the annual what makes this state such a desirShow, Shine, Shag and Dine event, able destination.” War ren and Granville counties a main event for the region. “We use Kerr Lake as our big- grew at nearly an equal measure to gest marketing attraction,” W il- seven other counties that Purdue son said. “Being up 7.8 percent mentioned as achieving a doubleover last year is wonderful. It was digit increase last year: War ren a tough year for the economy in generating a $23.6 million econom2011, and 2010 was a tough year ic impact, up $2 million from 2010, or 9.6 percent. also, but tourism held its own.” Granville County rose 9.5 perW ilson echoed Bar nes’ sen timents that the tourism success cent from $37.3 million in 2010 to stor y is important for ever yone liv- $40.9 million in 2011. Granville briefly surpassed ing in Vance County. “ E v e r y d o l l a r t h a t a v i s i - Vance in 2009 tourism impact numtor spends here is a new dollar bers by not declining as much from brought in to Vance County,” Wil- 2008, then Vance posted a faster son said. “It’s a boost for our mer- rebound in 2010. chants.” Contact the writer at mfisher@ Vance County tourism recover y is part of a statewide phenomenon, DISPATCH STAFF


A view of downtown Henderson looking north from South Garnett Street.

Changing landscape Names and purposes change, but variety spices the heart of the city


Downtown Henderson is a mixture of the old and the new, of for-profit and not-for-profit, of large spaces and cozy spaces. The heart of downtown Henderson is Gar nett Street with its iconic clock tower over the firehouse. But it branches off in both directions on Montgomery, Breckenridge, Winder, Horner, Orange and Spring streets. Par ts of the historic area seem little changed from the past. The old train station has been converted into office space. But the railroad tracks are still there, carr ying an occasional freight train through town. The tracks wait expectantly for the high-speed trains that will carr y passengers from Henderson to Raleigh or Richmond in the future. Some of the big stores moved out or closed years ago. Names like Roth Stewart’s and the Charles Store are now memories. Filling those spaces today are businesses that local entrepreneurs have created to offer new kinds of products and services to the community. Phil Har t of Dataforge said, “Older people remember it (downtown Henderson) and say they would like to see it like that again.” That’s not likely to happen, but the downtown is developing its own character. In many ways, Dataforge represents the new trend, offering computer sales and service as well as website design and hosting, a departure from the big stores of the mid20th centur y but reflecting the technology and entrepreneurial spirit of the modern age. Other downtown spaces are filled by eateries. In contrast to the chain restaurants found at interstate highway interchanges, downtown eating places — such as George’s, Greenway’s, Spiritual Connections Cafe and the Lotus Lounge Day Spa and Cafe — have their roots in the area. The esthetic side of downtown living has not been neglected. A mural on the Montgomer y Street side of Thomas Appliance Sales and Service depicts a street scene. A plaque attributes the mural to the Downtown Mural Project, dated 19931994, and states that it was supported by the Vance County Arts Council with funds from the Grassroots Program of the N.C. Arts Council. Another mural, stretching four stories high, depicts a night scene of Henderson and can be viewed from William Street. The historic Rose Gin & Supply Co., which closed its doors this sum-

mer after 128 years of service to the community and region, is commemorated on the Court Street side of the former Uptown Rose Restaurant and Pub building, now Mahogany’s. Other murals found in the downtown area are the Bull Durham mural on the Quick Print building and Gupton’s Sporting Goods. Emrose Park is located on South Garnett Street squarely in the middle of the downtown area. The park contains benches, a gazebo, greener y and a mural on each of the adjoining buildings. George Havin, of Rosemyr Corporation, said the park was named for his grandmother and was developed for the benefit of the citizens of Henderson. The downtown Henderson skyline is marked near the north end by the clock tower and near the south end by the Vance Furniture building, advertising its “five showroom floors.” The buildings in between have a lower profile. But the upstairs of a number of them have been renovated to provide apar tments for people who value proximity to the amenities of a small urban setting. Jason Stewardson, chairman of the Downtown Development Commission, said downtown residents “represent all walks of life. There is a grandmother, a police officer, a teacher, a sheriff’s deputy and several young pr ofessionals at ACS (Affiliated Computer Services).” Har vin said the three upstairs apartments completed by Rosemyr “look good, they’re convenient and they’re cheap.” The spot at the corner of Breckenridge and Wyche streets once graced by the Embassy Theater is now the home of the Henderson Police Depar tment. Across Breckenridge Street, a project named for the old theater created the H. Leslie Perr y Memorial

Librar y and anticipates the realization of the second half of the project, a performance auditorium. Five County Community Operations Center and the Vance County Senior Center occupy half of the 100 block of South Garnett Street. Farther south, Variety Wholesalers occupies half of the 200 block, space its predecessor, Rose’s Stores, had claimed in years past. Realty firms and attorneys are doing their share to fill spaces in the historic downtown area by maintaining offices conveniently located near the Vance County Courthouse. Downtown Henderson even has its own college. Based in the Gateway building, St. Augustine’s University has offered extended studies in Henderson since 2009 to supplement courses offered at its main campus in Raleigh. Across the street, the Learning Center of fers younger students opportunities to hone their skills, perhaps aiming them toward that university of another. Richard Henderson said Gateway builds affordable homes in A.L. Harris Estates in Henderson. “We’re trying to get people qualified,” he said. Symbolic of the changes occurring downtown is the story of what is now called “The Professional Building, Circa 1920” at 309 Wyche Street. The mosaic floor in the entryway gives its origin: “Home Telephone & Telegraph Co. and Associated Companies. Local and Long Distance Telephone. Connects with Bell System.” Those connections are no longer relevant in the digital age. But the building is still relevant. It has been renovated and now houses Triumph, a human services provider, preserving a Henderson landmark.


A fisherman prepares to go out on the lake at Kerr Lake’s Hibernia recreation area.

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The Daily Dispatch

Progress 2012

Sunday, August 26, 2012


Issue that runs deeper than ‘don’t do it’ Schools, health department promoting programs through state curriculum


The Community Health Assessment Process, expecting completion by the end of August, has identified three priorities for Vance and Granville counties according to Lisa Harrison, health director for the Granville-Vance District Health Department. Those three areas of focus include chronic disease and related lifestyle issues, reproductive health and pregnancy outcomes, and success in schools. While all three aspects are of high importance, the latter two can be directly linked with the issue of teen pregnancy, an increasing concern in Vance County. The teen pregnancy rate in Vance County per 1,000 15-19 year old girls was 82.4 percent, well above the state teen pregnancy rate of 49.7 percent, according to data from the Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Campaign of North Carolina. Vance County ranked second only to Onslow County in teen pregnancy. “I am aware that Vance County is among the top counties for teen-

age pregnancy,” said Ter ri Hedrick, public information of ficer for Vance County Schools. “We have par tner ed with the health depar tment to promote programs through state curriculum, and the state is now allowing schools to address more than just abstinence.” Teen pregnancy for many young girls can hinder their educational experience, and potentially lead to early drop out. “We want to see every young girl find success in school, stay in school, and realize the benefits of a complete high school education for themselves and their families in the future,” Harrison said. “Teen pregnancy is focused on a lot in this country, it’s always something people have looked at and perceived as a big issue. “It’s a little more complex issue than teaching people not to get pregnant. Understanding the impor tance of motherhood on a different level, and being culturally sensitive to norms in different families while still promoting the best possible message is important.” Harrison added that


there are a lot of really great things going on in schools to help. One program in particular known as the STARS program at Henderson Middle School is doing its part to help prevent teen pregnancy. Enhancing the lives of adolescent females through the power of mentorship, exposure to cultural experiences, and character development is the mission of STARS: Sisters Transcending, Achieving and Reaching Success. Henderson Middle School teachers India Kingsberr y and Christine Joyce founded the program in 2006 after they saw an overwhelming need in the community for mentorship and guidance for young adolescent females. “As teachers we have seen such a change in young girls, with them b e coming mor e and more insecure with themselves and their bodies,” said Joyce, an eighth-grade English teacher. “It just seems like a lot of these girls have a lack of guidance,” added Kingsberr y, an eighthgrade math teacher. The STARS program

teaches various curricu- and they’re left on their lums at each grade level own to take care of it.” “There’s a of middle different stans c h o o l , a l l The STARS dard of beaubased around program teaches ty these days. creating posiEverything is tive self-image various media, media, through spir- curriculums at m e d i a . We it, body and each grade level mind. of middle school, want them to their Sixth grade all based around create own idea of is based what beauty around spirit creating positive is,” Joyce and the girls self-image added. are known as through spirit, During rising stars. body and mind. eighth grade, “For sixthcurriculum is g r a d e g i r l s Sixth grade is based around it’s all about based around s e l f - e s t e e m spirit and the girls the mind and the girls are and teaching are known as shooting them to love rising stars. stars. themselves,” “ We h e l p Kingsber r y them prepare for high said. S e v e n t h g r a d e i s school and get them about body, girls are thinking about college,” shining stars and they Joyce said. K i n g s b e r r y, added are taught how to love that the girls need to go their body. “ I t ’ s r e a l l y a m a z - into high school with i n g h o w m u c h t h e y a plan of action to help don’t know about what them navigate those changes their bodies are years. For the young girls going through at this age,” Kingsberr y said. at Henderson Middle “Last year we brought in S c h o o l , S T A R S h a s a gynecologist to speak become a safe place, to them, and we also a place where they are brought in a hair stylist. not judged, and a place These girls are at the where they can easily age where their parents make friends. “We have girls say aren’t really doing their hair for them anymore that STARS made them

feel pretty,” Kingsberr y said. “We want them to feel beautiful, and we don’t want a guy to be the first person to make them feel that way because that can lead to obstacles and pitfalls. “Ever y year there’s at least one girl at our school that gets pregnant.” In the future STARS hopes to gr ow, gain volunteers and expand their ser vices to other young girls. “Parents play a big role and many of them have been really receptive to the program. It’s really important for them to get involved,” said Joyce, adding that transportation for some girls had been an issue. The work STARS does to empower and educate female youth is vital to helping them achieve success in schools. “Sometimes the most evidence-based success stories are due to the programs that empower and educate youth,” Harrison said. “We are all responsible for helping children be responsible.” Contact the writer at


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Progress 2012

The Daily Dispatch


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Real Estate/construction


Renovations are being made to the Dabney Drive Bojangles as progress is made in the expansion of the restaurant.

Rising from ‘rock bottom’

Retailers’ development linked to household sales and builds BY MARTIN FISHER DISPATCH STAFF

Vance County is slowly on the mend from hitting bottom in the housing market. That is to say, ver y slowly. Household sales have recovered marginally, but single-family builds remain sluggish from the 2009 low year for most industries. According to, annual home sales for Vance held steady at about 170 for 2010 and 2011, compared to a low at 135 for 2009. It’s still down from more than 230 for 2008 and 310 for 2007. Overall home sales for the first quar ter of 2012 numbered 35, same as for the first quar ter of 2011. The median price of sale is down to $71,000 from $108,000. Jordan McMillen, the director of planning and d e v e l o p m e n t f o r Va n c e County, said the residential constr uction scene is better

than the numbers are telling because of preparations for future builds that are showing promise. “We hit bottom a while back and we have been slow getting up, but we are probably out from the worst of it,” McMillen said. “We are seeing upticks here and there, but residential construction is obviously still struggling.” Not included in the numbers, according to McMillen, is the poised potential from subdivisions that present a total approaching 100 shovelready housing starts. “We have a number of oppor tunities with a couple of subdivisions, the biggest being the Peninsula at Kerr Lake,” he said. “There are more than 75 lots there.” There are lots marked up on paved streets that already have utilities set to go. “The lots are available, it’s a gated community,” McMil-

len said. “It is just a matter of time. Going for ward, I think the single family numbers are going to gradually trend upward again.” Looking back, according to City Data, the 2009 singlefamily new house constr uction building permits showed a decline to 47 buildings at an average cost of $141,000 in Vance County, with comparisons dating back: • at 80 permits for buildings averaging $152,500 cost for 2008. • at 90 permits for buildings averaging $161,000 cost for 2007. • at 105 permits for buildings averaging $138,500 cost for 2006. Vance County development department numbers mirror the City Data numbers for 2009, the latest that they include, and add statistics for 2010 and 2011. Not much has changed: • at 44 permits for buildings averaging $179,500 cost for 2010. • at 36 permits for buildings averaging $149,000 cost for 2011.

Henderson-Vance County Economic Development Director Stuar t Litvin said that the constr uction and sales numbers play a role in attracting new businesses. The household picture applies a little more to decisions that retailers will make on locating to the area. He added that retailers, the giants as well as smaller stores, seek their research on area household sales and builds. “Those things do influence when they consider an area,” Litvin said. “Retailers have their own research tools that they use, or research ser vices that they pay for.” McMillen said that the first half of 2012 was on track with the past three years for household permits, placing at 11 stick-built and seven modular builds from Januar y through June, the average modular cost actually outstripping stick-built averages marginally for that time. McMillen added that commercial constr uction is pulling the greater weight as far

as overall construction costs, at $25.5 million total for 2009, $24 million for 2010 and $21.5 million in 2011. The total for residential constr uction, including mobile homes, over the three years was $35.5 million. “All of that constr uction adds to the tax base for the county, so it is all good,” he said. City Data repor ts that the 2009 mean cost for a detached house ran at $190,000, compared to $219,000 for the state of Nor th Carolina, and the mobile home mean cost was at $66,500 in Vance County, compared to a $45,000 middle-of-the-list cost for the state. Vance posted a 2:1 ratio of owner-occupied to renteroccupied domiciles in 2009, with owners living in 10,726 houses and condos. Renters lived in 5,473 apar tments, which was just one percentage point of f from averages for the state. Contact the writer at mfisher@


Showing confidence and poise Competitions with livestock not the only benefit of the Vance 4-H program BY ALLIE RAE MAUSER DISPATCH STAFF

Three members of the Vance County 4-H Youth Development program will compete in a livestock show and sale on Sept. 21. The three young ladies competing include Lauren Edwards, 15, Megan Dickerson, 10, and Bailee Barker, 12. “I’ll be showing a Katahdin sheep, Pinzgauer heifer, dair y goat, chickens, and a lama,” Edwards said. “A Pinzgauer heifer is ver y rare in Nor th Carolina, but big in Texas, and Katahdin sheep have long hair instead of wool. People like them because they don’t have to deal with taking care of the wool.” All 4-H members participating in the livestock show must not only learn

how to properly show the animal, but they also have to know specifics on the breed of animal and how to take care of it. “A judge may ask anything from what a particular body part is called to what they’re feeding the animal,” said Carrol Edwards, the livestock club leader. Barker has been a member of 4-H for two years, but this will be her first year participating in a livestock show. “I’ll be showing a Katahdin sheep and an alpine dair y goat,” said Barker, who has lived on a farm her whole life. “We have angus cows, horses, chickens and donkeys.” Dickerson is brand new to the 4-H and will also be showing a Katahdin sheep, and dairy goat. “I’m interested in animals

so I thought I would join this group,” Dickerson said. “I like horses, goats, pigs, sheep, almost every animal really. I have a joy for animals.” Many children participating in 4-H join because of their interest in animals. But the program is not solely based around farming and working with animals. There are multiple special interest groups and clubs of which children can participate. The 4-H Youth Development is par t of the N.C. State University and N.C. A&T State University Cooperative Extension program, designed to deliver education and technology that enrich the lives, land and economy of North Carolinians. “Nor th Carolina has one of the strongest Cooperative Extension pro-


Lauren Edwards (from left), Bailee Barker and Megan Dickerson practice with their lambs as they halter break them in preparation for the fall livestock shows. All three are part of the Vance County 4-H Livestock Club, and were working with their Katahdin lambs at Clover E Farm. grams in the country and I’m proud to be a part of it,” said Pam Jones, Director of 4-H Youth Development. “Kids in 4-H learn an abundance of new skills and are given the opportunity to dabble in whatever interest area they choose. They are taught how to ser ve their communities and given skills

worming medicine if an animal needs to be dewormed, all those type things.” Edwards has been participating in 4-H club for nine years, and has found one of her future goals is to become a farm sitter. Edwards, Barker and Dickerson all practiced walking with their animals in harnesses, but must be prepared to walk them harness free for the show. Edwards demonstrated how to hold the head of her sheep upright and stand behind it while presenting to the judges. “She star ted of f this pr ogram as a young girl who hid behind her mother the first time I met her,” Jones said. “Now she’s poised and confident. She’s become a mentor to these other two girls and doesn’t even know it.”

that help them become responsible citizens and leaders,” said Jones. “By working with these animals they’re are learning leadership skills and responsibility. They’re even learning about budgeting through the barn records they’re Contact the required to keep. They writer at amauser@ have to know how much feed costs, vaccines, de-



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Progress 2012: Our Home, and So Much More  

Special section highlighting advances made in the Tri-County area within the past year and a closer look at great things happening in Vance,...

Progress 2012: Our Home, and So Much More  

Special section highlighting advances made in the Tri-County area within the past year and a closer look at great things happening in Vance,...