May 2021 Newsletter
May Highlights
Here is what you'll find in this month's newsletter:

  • Important Dates
  • Board Member Spotlight
  • Staff Spotlight
  • Radio Program on Care Planning
  • Caregiver's Cup
  • Powerful Tools for Caregivers Classes
  • Senior Center Update
  • Next RAAC Meeting
  • Older American's Month
  • Woodlands Garden Club
  • Elder Abuse Awareness
  • KTRPO TAC/TCC Meeting
  • Visit NC Farms App
  • 2021 Litter Sweep
  • New EDA Investment Priorities
  • YMCA Bike Safety Event
  • Bike & Pedestrian Planning Grants
  • Small & Local Business Spotlights
  • Virtual Town Hall Series
  • USDA Rural Development Request for Information
  • Kerr-Tar Labor Market Overview
  • Triangle Career Expo for Gen Z
  • Success Story
  • VGCC Virtual Open House
  • US Census Date Released
  • American Rescue Plan
  • NC Municipal Leaders Invited to USDA Disaster Recovery Info Session
  • Kerr-Tar Staff Mother's Day Tribute
Photo courtesy of Richard Long Photography
Pop Quiz!
In what city is the Kerr-Tar COG office located?
The answer to last month's question: How many counties are in the Kerr-Tar region? FIVE! The Kerr-Tar region is made up of Granville, Franklin, Person, Vance, and Warren counties.
Important Dates!
Triangle Career Expo: Gen Z Edition
  • Wednesday, May 5
  • 2:00-4:00 pm
  • Online (call 919-693-2686 for more info)

Regional Aging Advisory Committee Meeting
  • Tuesday, May 11
  • 2:00-3:00 pm
  • Via Zoom

Caregiver's Cup
  • Friday, May 14
  • 12:00-1:30 pm
  • Sadie's Coffee Corner

  • Thursday, May 27
  • 3:00-5:00 pm
  • At Kerr-Tar COG Office w/Zoom option

KTCOG Board of Directors Meeting
  • Thursday, May 27
  • 6:00 pm
  • At Kerr-Tar COG Office w/Zoom option
Spotlight on Kerr-Tar COG
Board Member Spotlight: Thomas W. Lane
Thomas (Tom) W. Lane, lives in Butner and serves as the Town of Butner's representative to the COG. He has spent 36 years in various roles in the field of Mental Health. These include starting as a recreation aide at the age of 16 in 1954 at the State Hospital at Butner, which later came to be known as John Umstead Hospital. This was the stimulus for the career path that followed. Positions included Assistant Regional Director of Mental Health for the Western Region (33 counties); Director of Durham County Mental Health for 14 years, and several other positions at the Department of Mental Health. The final position was Director of Gero Psychiatry Unit back at John Umstead Hospital for the final five years of his career. He and his wife Judy have been married for almost 58 years, and have two children. Mr. Lane served as Mayor of Butner from 2007-2015 and during that time served on the Kerr-Tar TAC. He has served as a member of the Kerr-Tar board for the past 3 years since being elected back to the Town Council in 2018. The opportunities presented through KTCOG for the communities of this region are vital to meeting the needs of our citizens. Together we are stronger.
We would also like to congratulate Charla Duncan on being named Warren County Economic Development Commission's Executive Director! Ms. Duncan has been serving as the interim Executive Director for the past seven months. Prior to her career with Warren County EDC, Ms. Duncan served as the Executive Director of the Warren County Chamber of Commerce, Grants Coordinator and Management Analyst in the Granville County Manager's office, as well as Senior Assistant to the Warren County Manager. She says, "I am excited to bring a perspective to the economic development team that is a new one for us - born and raised here, graduate of Warren County public schools, female, millennial, daughter of a small-business owner. It's a new combination of perspectives for this role in our community, and I look to be an asset to our county's progress."
Staff Spotlight: Nancy Francis, Area Agency on Aging Director
Nancy Francis, Director of Kerr-Tar COG Area Agency on Aging since March 2019, is committed to helping older adults thrive by connecting them with community resources. Recognizing the importance of a holistic approach to well-being early on, she worked in wellness, social service, law, and housing in her diverse career. As a life-long student, she has acquired a degree every 10-15 years: a Master's in psychology, a law degree (NCCU, 2004), and a Master's in Applied Gerontology (UNCW, 2017). At the COG, she particularly enjoyed working with community partners in a COVID Support and Services project. Through the project, the COG distributed PPE to thousands. Those community collaborations continue now through other work in the region. Nancy is especially proud of the Aging team members who are creative, resourceful, and committed to serving and supporting the region's older adults.

Fun fact about Nancy: she lived in Amsterdam for six months and in New Delhi for six months, and loves experiencing things from a new perspective. She is an avid reader and crafter, enjoys movies, walking in the woods, and spending time with friends.
Radio Program on Care Planning
On Thursday, May 6 be sure to tune in to WIZS to hear KTAAA Family Caregiver Support Specialist, Austin Caton along with Camille Koonce, Certified Case Manager and Eldercare Consultant, who will speak on Care Planning. This program will air at 11:00 am but you can also find it on their website HERE. On the dial, they are 100.1 FM and 1450 AM.
Caregiver's Cup
The next Caregiver's Cup coffee club will be Friday, May 14 from 12:00-1:30 pm at Sadie's Coffee Corner in Henderson. If you provide care for an adult over age 60 and would like some non-structured social time and a good cup of coffee, join us! Call Austin with any questions at 252-436-2040, ext 6072. Newcomers welcome!
Powerful Tools for Caregivers
Powerful Tools for Caregivers is a FREE class for unpaid caregivers of those living with any chronic condition or disability. Learn how to manage emotions, reduce personal stress, and confidently cope with caregiving issues and demands. This virtual class will meet 90 minutes per week for 6 weeks and is open to any unpaid caregiver. All tools and materials are free for participants. The next session begins May 6 (Thursdays, 10:00-11:30 am). Since the classes are conducted virtually, caregivers from several states are currently participating in Session 1.

There will be a special gift for the first 20 people to register! Register by calling Susan Tucker at 252-436-2040. Please share with any caregivers you know!
Update on KTAAA Senior Centers
KTAAA region's Senior Centers are slowly reopening by allowing more participants in classes and holding more classes and events outdoors. Virtual events are also expanding as the centers and participants become more familiar with online platforms and opportunities. Limited access to the internet continues to challenge many. Congregate lunch programs will probably be the last program to reopen for all the centers, and no dates have been set. Stay tuned!

Relocation plans continue to move along for the Louisburg and Vance Senior Centers. Reopening events may be scheduled for sometime later this summer. Louisburg Senior Center is moving across the street to a much larger space, and Vance County Senior Center is moving to the re-purposed Eaton Johnson School.

Franklin County Senior Center hosted a drive-by thank you event for volunteers with a Wizard of Oz theme (pictured) at the V.E. and Lydia H. Owens Recreational Park at Bull Creek on April 23. What a fun way to celebrate volunteers!

  • Franklin County Senior Center (Louisburg) 919-496-1131
  • Franklinton Senior Center 919-494-5611
  • Granville County Senior Services (Oxford) 919-693-1930
  • South Granville Senior Center (Creedmoor) 919-528-0848
  • North Granville Senior Center (Stovall) 919-693-3383
  • Person County Senior Center 336-599-7484
  • Vance County Senior Center 252-430-0257
  • Warren County Senior Center 252-257-3111
Next RAAC Meeting
The next Regional Aging Advisory Committee meeting is Tuesday, May 11 from 2:00-3:00 pm. The public is welcome to attend. Contact Mary Lynn Baldwin for virtual meeting information at 252-436-2040.
May is Older Americans Month
Every May, the Administration for Community Living leads our nation's observance of Older Americans Month. The theme for 2021 is "Communities of Strength." Older adults have built resilience and strength over their lives through successes, failures, joys, and difficulties. Their stories and contributions help to support and inspire others. This OAM, we will celebrate the strength of older adults and the Aging Network, with special emphasis on the power of connection and engagement in building strong communities. There are many things we all can do to nurture ourselves, reinforce our strength, and continue to thrive. Connecting with others is one of the most important - it plays a vital role in our health and well-being, and in our communities. From finding joy in small things and sharing our stories, to looking at the big picture and giving to others, join in promoting the ways we are connected and strong. Each of the region's senior centers is planning community events in May to celebrate.
Woodlands Garden Club
The Woodlands Garden Club is meeting at 10:00 am on Tuesday, May 11 in the garden at the First United Methodist Church in Henderson. Anyone with a love of plants is welcome to attend. The club is a vibrant, green presence at farmers' markets and community events and supports several local charities with flowers and plants. Kerr-Tar AAA Aging Specialist, Mary Lynn Baldwin, will be speaking on aging services.
Elder Abuse Awareness
In North Carolina, the time between Mother's Day through Father's Day is recognized as Elder Abuse Awareness Month. In the Kerr-Tar region, program staff work with local senior centers, departments of social services, law enforcement, mental health providers, and other health and human service professionals to provide information to all citizens on how to detect, prevent, protect from, and report this crime. This collective group of organizations collaborates on a variety of community outreach opportunities such as presentations, health fairs, news articles, and educational events (such as the Elder Abuse Walk). In the past, this has been a very successful season for outreach. The pandemic has made it difficult to be as successful, however, there are plans in the works in all five counties. These are collaborative events with local providers in each county that will provide awareness for safer communities for some of our more vulnerable and elderly citizens.

FRANKLIN: Franklin County will host an Elder Abuse Awareness and Prevention Drive-Thru event on Thursday, June 10, 2021 at Owens Park in Louisburg from 11:30 am-1:00 pm. Attendees are encouraged to register in advance.

VANCE: Vance County will host an Elder Abuse Awareness and Prevention presentation on June 17, 2021 at 10:00 am at the Vance County Senior Center. The speaker will be Austin Caton, KTAAA Family Caregiver Support Specialist and Kim Hawkins, KTAAA Regional Ombudsman.

WARREN: Warren County will host an Elder Abuse Awareness and Prevention Drive-Thru event, tentatively scheduled for Friday, June 11, 2021 from 11:00 am-1:00 pm. Attendees are encouraged to arrive shortly before 11:00 am for further instructions.

Plans for Person and Granville Counties are still pending.
June 15 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day
June 15 is recognized as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day and has been observed by the World Health Organization since 2011. Kim Hawkins, KTAAA Regional Ombudsman, is asking to help promote awareness by choosing a day during this season and wearing something purple (she likes to add a little gold or silver to represent seniors and the value of this population) in support of the victims of this crime and their family members. WE want to stop the hurting.

Billboards are currently on display in Person County on 501 N near Roby Barton Road, and in Franklin County on US-1 N to acknowledge and bring awareness to this under-reported crime. Please contact Kim Hawkins, KTAAA Regional Ombudsman at 252-436-2050 or if you have any ideas for outreach or would like more information on this topic.
As always, if you or anyone you know has questions about support and services for older adults in the Kerr-Tar Region, please call 252-436-2040.
North Carolina State Ethics Commission
The KTRPO would like to thank members of the KTRPO TAC and TAC Alternates for filing their required Statements of Economic Interest (SEI) and Real Estate Disclosure (RED) forms to the North Carolina State Ethics Commission by the statutory deadline of April 15. Your attention and cooperation was very much appreciated.
The KTRPO joint TAC/TCC will meet on Thursday, May 27, 2021 from 3:00-5:00 pm at the Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments Offices located in Henderson. Members will have the option of attending virtually via Zoom as well. The agenda and related meeting materials will be posted onto the KTCOG website as the meeting date approaches.
Visit NC Farms Mobile App
The Council of Governments along with our Cooperative Extension Offices are still accepting applications for inclusion on the region's Visit NC Farms Mobile App. Since the pandemic, many of our region's farms and Farmers' Markets have adapted the ways they conduct business or offer products.

If you are a local farmer, local food producer, restaurant using local foods, or offer local goods, please contact your local Cooperative Extension Office or Council of Governments for details about being included onto the mobile app.

The app is available to download for free in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.
2021 Litter Sweep
Last year's Litter Sweep was cancelled due to COVID-19, and as a result, NC Department of Transportation crews, contractors, and volunteers reported having collected more than 4 million pounds of litter from roadsides this year. During this year's litter sweep, participation was extremely high. This year’s collection includes a new Spring Litter Sweep (April 10-24) record of 1.4 million pounds of roadside trash removed. Litter is unsightly, costs millions of dollars to clean up and can hurt the environment, tourism, and the state's quality of life. Thank you to everyone for doing their part to help make North Carolina and the Kerr-Tar region clean and beautiful.

Tips Courtesy of NCDOT:
  • Secure loads before driving. Unsecured trash can fly from a vehicle and end up as roadside litter.
  • Hold onto trash until it can be disposed of properly. Keep a litter bag in your vehicle so you can properly dispose of trash later.
  • Recycle when possible. Recycling protects the environment, saves landfill space, and keeps the community clean.
City of Henderson employees assisting in the 2021 Litter Sweep
Photo Courtesy: City of Henderson
Release of New EDA Investment Priorities
Last month, the US Economic Development Administration (EDA) released seven new investment priorities to evaluate project applications. EDA's investment priorities provide an overarching framework to ensure its grant investment portfolio (ranging from planning to infrastructure construction) contributes to local efforts to build, improve, or better leverage economic assets that allow businesses to succeed and regional economies to prosper and become more resilient. Competitive grant applications will be responsive to the evaluation criteria listed under each individual funding announcement, including at least one of the following investment priorities:

  • Equity
  • Manufacturing
  • Environmentally-Sustainable Development
  • Recovery & Resilience
  • Technology-Based Economic Development
  • Workforce Development
  • Exports & Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)

To learn more about each investment priority, click HERE.
Bicycle Safety Event @ Henderson Family YMCA
The Henderson YMCA, in conjunction with the City of Henderson, Vance County, Franklin Granville Vance Smart Start, and the Kerr-Tar Council of Governments will be hosting a Bicycle Safety Event on Saturday, May 15 from 11:00 am-1:00 pm. The Henderson YMCA was the recipient of bicycle helmets courtesy of the NCDOT Bike Helmet Initiative. Our Safe Routes to School Coordinator, Kisha High, will be in attendance at this event along with other local government agency personnel.

For the flyer with more details, click HERE.
Announcing Bike & Pedestrian Planning Grants
The NC Department of Transportation is accepting applications from communities for the 2021 Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning Grant Initiative. The program provides funding for municipalities across the state to develop comprehensive bicycle or pedestrian plans. There are several plan options available to meet specific community needs. All North Carolina municipalities are eligible to apply for a standard bike or pedestrian plan (application). Additionally, the following options are available:

  • Counties with population of less than 50,000 may apply for a bicycle or pedestrian plan;
  • Smaller municipalities with population of less than 10,000 can apply to develop combined bicycle and pedestrian plans;
  • Municipalities with population of less than 5,000 may apply for a project acceleration plan (application) - an abbreviated plan primarily focusing on priority project identification and implementation;
  • Municipalities (and counties with populations of less than 50,000) who currently have bicycle plans and/or pedestrian plans, either through this grant program or otherwise, may apply for a plan update (application) provided the existing plan is at least five years old.

The deadline for the application to be submitted electronically is June 30, 2021. Award recipients will be notified by September 2021. Proposals are divided and judged in geographical groups to help establish equitable distribution of funding across the state. The selected awardees commonly incorporate a diverse mix of municipalities from large cities to small towns.

Plans funded are not for one specific project, but represent a comprehensive strategy for expanding bicycle and pedestrian opportunities within a given municipality. The plans may address facilities, programs, policies, and design guidelines that encourage safe walking and bicycling. If your community is interested in pursuing a Bicycle and Pedestrian Grant, please reach out to the KTRPO at 252-436-2040 ext 2004.
Innovative Small & Local Business Spotlights
Are you aware of a local or small business creatively managing during the pandemic? If so, the Council of Governments would like to highlight those businesses adapting to the pandemic through a new delivery of business services, contactless payment options, greater online presence, or other creative methods. The COG will be posting these stories to the KTCOG Facebook page and featuring them in our Economic Development newsletter. To submit a business to be highlighted, click HERE.
Virtual Town Hall Series
Join UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School Professors Dr. James "Jim" Johnson & Jeanne Milliken Bonds for a series of Zoom Meetings entitled Lean In To 2021: More Equitable, More Resilient. The sessions will be held on May 21, and June 18 starting at 1:00 pm. Register for the series by clicking the button below.
USDA Rural Development Releases Request for Information for New Rural Energy Pilot Program
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development has released a Request for Information with questions for stakeholders and members of the public regarding the Department's new pilot program aimed at bringing renewable energy to rural communities. USDA is specifically seeking input on how the pilot program can be designed to meet the nation's energy needs and combat climate change while prioritizing environmental justice, racial equity, and economic opportunity.
Kerr-Tar Labor Market Overview: April 2021
The NC Department of Commerce has released its most recent Labor Market Overview. This report includes change in employment, unemployment rates, who's hiring, what jobs are available, and a breakdown by county. To see a regional snapshot of the Kerr-Tar Labor Market, click HERE.
Triangle Career Expo: Gen Z Edition
There will be a regional virtual hiring event for high school seniors, "Triangle Career Expo: Gen Z Edition" on Wednesday, May 5 from 2:00-4:00 pm. The event is presented by NCWorks, Kerr-Tar Workforce Board, Durham Workforce Development Board, Capital Area Workforce Development Board, Career & Technical Education Coordinators, and Junior Achievement of Eastern North Carolina. There are about 50 employers from the Kerr-Tar and Triangle regions offering opportunities for graduates who are ready to enter the workforce. The Career Development Coordinators have been working closely with seniors to prepare them for this event and have been collaborating and sharing strategies and ideas. VGCC and NCWorks have also held trainings for seniors to assist in resume building, interview skills, etc. All partners have worked diligently to ensure a successful event. For more information, contact the NCWorks Career Center at 919-693-2686.
Success Story
Mary Ann Parrott was working part time as a Customer Service Representative in retail when COVID-19 caused her employer to severely cut her hours. She began to seek a job with the opportunity to work full time, in an environment with less contact with the public. She had previous experience in administration, but her computer skills were not current.

Mary Ann applied to Select Products in Henderson for a Human Resources Assistant position. She and the employer felt that she would be a good fit for the company, but that she would need training in order to perform all the tasks required. Select Products has worked closely with the NCWorks Career Center since opening a new facility in Vance County. They referred Mary Ann to be assessed for WIOA eligibility and suitability.

Mary Ann was found to be an excellent candidate for On the Job Training. A training plan was developed to provide her with the hands-on experience needed to perform the job. She is learning the computer systems and software programs used in manufacturing Human Resources. She is learning the processes and regulations involved in Human Resources Management. This training will provide her with the skills required to perform her duties and to successfully follow her career pathway.
VGCC Virtual Open House
Vance-Granville Community College is hosting a Virtual Open House on Thursday, May 6, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm and Saturday, May 8 from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm. This year's open house might look a little different, but it will still be amazing. Join in and find out why thousands of families choose VGCC for programs that build degrees and launch careers. Additionally, participants will learn how to begin their journey. The 2021 Virtual Open House series allows prospective students and their families the opportunity to explore and hear from passionate faculty and staff about program areas and services available to students. Come get a glimpse of what VGCC has to offer and find out why students consistently say that their time at VGCC has changed their lives. To register for the event, click HERE.
Looking for a job?
In Other News...
U.S. Census Data Released
The U.S. Census Bureau just released the first look at the results from the 2020 Census. The U.S. population is now 331,449,281. The nation grew by 22,703,743 or 7.4% since 2010. This represents the second slowest decade of growth on record, just after 1930 - 1940, when the nation grew by 7.3%.

To see these results, click HERE.
North Carolina Gains a Congressional Seat
North Carolina's official population in the 2020 Census was 10,453,948. This is an increase of 903,905 or 9.5% since 2010. North Carolina had the 6th largest increase among the states and was the 15th fastest-growing state. As a result of this population increase, NC will gain one additional seat in the United States House of Representatives.
Up-to-Date American Rescue Plan Guidance
With the passage of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) on March 11, local governments in our region will receive direct assistance from the federal government to help with economic recovery. These funds come with specific guidelines and restrictions. Get the best and most up-to-date information on the ARP and funding through these resources from our local and national partners.

North Carolina Municipal Leaders are Invited to Participate in USDA Disaster Recovery Program Informational Session
As North Carolina prepares for the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season from May 15, 2021 to November 30, 2021, USDA North Carolina Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is pleased to host an informational webinar on the agency's disaster recovery program, the Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWP). This program was established to provide cost-share assistance to eligible sponsors for recovery efforts that protect undamaged structures and infrastructure while addressing soil erosion, water, and debris hazards.

For your convenience, the session will be provided two times: Tuesday, May 18, 2021 and Tuesday, May 25, 2021 (2:00-3:00 pm Eastern Time), and will cover program history, objectives, and requirements to qualify for EWP assistance. To register, send an email to and with:

  1. Subject line: EWP Session Request
  2. Name, organization, email address, and chosen session (May 18 OR May 25)
  3. Multiple RSVPs can be provided in one registration request message.

An email invitation that includes the virtual meeting link will be sent to each requested attendee.

If you require special accommodation to participate, please contact Sherri Krueger at, or by calling 919-873-2128. To learn more about USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service and the Emergency Watershed Protection Program, please visit them on the web at
A Kerr-Tar Staff Tribute to Moms
In honor of Mother's Day this month, we asked Kerr-Tar staff to share advice that their mothers gave them, or how their mother has been an influence in their lives. Here is what they said.

My Mama had the greatest faith and was the best testament of a born again Christian than anyone I’ve ever known. She put everything in God’s hands and always taught me to pray about everything no matter how small something may be. No matter what life brought her way, her faith never wavered because her motto was “God is in control.” I can think of no better example to live my life by than that.
-Donna Lee

My Mother is no longer with me on this earth, but she was beautiful, kind and gracious and loved the most difficult of people possible. She taught me how to love unconditionally. But even if from a far, she demonstrated how to still love those who refuse to love you back; even how to bless your enemy as the Lord commands in His Word. 
-Deborah Cozart

This has stuck with me over the years. Our mom used to and still tells us girls to be careful what you wish for: you may just get it. Now, I tell it to my children as well.
-Mary Lynn Baldwin

My Mama said “Hate is a strong word.”
-Kelly Hundley

Perseverance, patience and speaking up for those in need...true advocacy. She had a great work ethic. She worked there for 27 years. Staff called her grandma. She was known for only speaking up when it was a “real” issue/problem and not being afraid to speak on what she felt was right to anyone. Such that often times, the administrative staff/owner consulted with her on resident to staff issues. Also she would represent the staff when home office made policy changes.
-Kim Hawkins

My mom is my best friend, my sounding board and moral barometer.  She encourages me to treat others with kindness, always , and to gather all the facts before you act.
-Austin Caton

In regards to my career, my mom told me that if I had a complaint or concern about something, to always come prepared with a possible solution as well.
-Beth Davis
The COG is on Facebook!
Stay up to date on everything that's happening at the COG by liking our Facebook page! We also ask that you share any posts you think might benefit your network. The best kind of advertising is word of mouth, and during these times, Facebook is definitely the way to get the word out. We welcome any and all feedback regarding the content of this page because we want it to be relevant information. Check it out HERE.

You can also find Kerr-Tar Area Agency on Aging on Facebook as well. Check them out HERE.
Executive Director
Diane Cox

Area Agency on Aging
Nancy Francis

Planning & Development
Michael Kelly

Workforce Development
Lou Grillo

Mission Statement
Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments aims to
promote regionalism that provides opportunities for
local governments to enhance and improve the quality
of life for our citizens through effective delivery of
services and programs.
Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments
Contact Info:
252-436-2055 fax

Our mailing address is:
P.O. Box 709
Henderson, NC 27536