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Suspect Detained After Firing At Deputy
A suspect is in custody after reportedly firing at a Johnston County Sheriff’s deputy.

It happened Wednesday afternoon in the 2100 block of Lee’s Union Church Road, off Highway 701 South of Four Oaks.

Around 3pm, a deputy responded to an address after a man called 911 saying his neighbor was shooting across the road towards him.

When the deputy arrived at the callers home, the suspect reportedly fired towards the victim and the officer, both of whom took cover and waited for additional help.

The suspect, whose identity was not immediately released, was on the porch of his home directly across the road when the shots were fired. At some point during the standoff, the suspect left his porch and his weapon behind and got onto his riding lawnmower.

The suspect was approached by officers and following a brief struggle was tasered and eventually taken into custody.

Authorities are still trying to determine what prompted the suspect to begin firing at his neighbor and then the deputy.

Fortunately, no injuries were reported.

The Johnston County Sheriff’s Office was assisted at the scene by the NC Highway Patrol, Clayton, Four Oaks, Smithfield, and Selma Police Departments.   Photos courtesy JoCoFire.com



Johnston County Mission Team Drilling Water Wells In Peru
A mission group from the local area recently returned from a successful well drilling trip to Northern Peru. The team consisted of Alan Parker, Jeff Porter, Don Creech, Ray Best, Edward Lawhorne, and Pastors Ken Andrews and Jorge Fonseca.

The team traveled to the city of Piura, Peru on February 26th to provide drinking water to two small villages and a church site outside the city.

The ministry, Wells of Living Water International, based in Four Oaks, was started in 2006 by a few local Christians with hearts to share the Love of Christ in villages in Peru.

Since there is a great need for clean drinking water in Peru and many other underdeveloped countries the group decided to focus on meeting that need as an opportunity to tell the people there about the Living Water, Jesus Christ.

In the years since the vision was presented, God has assembled the team and resources to begin the work.

With a salvaged mud rotary drill rig that was rebuilt by the team and shipped by the US Air Force, the mission team is now in a position to see the vision fulfilled.

For more information on the ministry, check out their website or contact Alan Parker at 919-369-5588 to schedule a presentation for your church group or organization.

Clayton Continues Search For Building Inspector
Manager Recommends Increase In Building Permit Fees

Monday night, Clayton Town Manager Steve Biggs updated the Town Council on the search for a new building inspector and recommended a review of building permit fees.

Biggs said the town staff continues to pursue filling the newly reinstated building inspector position.

So far, Biggs said only one formal interview has been conducted so far and that recruitment efforts will be stepped up.

Biggs also told the council that a review of surrounding towns and municipalities revealed that the Town of Clayton’s building permit fees are the lowest in the area.

Biggs recommended reviewing some of those fees and said possible modest increases might be included as the Town prepares the 2014-2015 budget.

Cleveland High Named New Football Coach
Cleveland High School has named Scott Riley as their new head football coach.

Coach Riley has served as the JV Head Coach and Defensive Line Coach for the football team, and the Wrestling Coach for the Rams since the school opened.

“It is an honor to be the head coach of Cleveland High School,” Coach Riley said. “I have spent the entirety of my ten-year professional career preparing for this opportunity.”

Riley is a graduate of Cardinal Gibbons High School where he was captain of the football team. He played football at Washington and Jefferson College for two years before earning his BA degree in history at UNC-Chapel Hill.

He has coached for 10 years, first at Harnett Central High School where he was defensive coordinator, and coached linebackers, wide receivers, and served as head JV Coach. While there his teams won 81% of their games.  

Riley joined Cleveland High’s staff when the school opened, and as Head JV Coach he has won 88% of the JV games.

He served as defensive line coach as well, and coached seven All-Conference Defensive Linemen and two Conference Defensive Players of the Year in three seasons.

Riley’s winning record carried over to the schools wrestling team. As the Wrestling Coach for four years, Riley won three regular season conference championships and two conference tournaments.  He has coached 12 state qualifiers (at least one each year) and had three State Placers (All-State).

Riley teaches Social Studies, including Civics and Economics and Law and Justice.   

Anne Meredith, Principal of Cleveland High School, said Riley is very committed to the success of the school’s student-athletes and athletic program. “I am confident that he will continue to build on the success our football program has enjoyed,” said Principal Meredith. “He has seen first-hand what it takes to build quality young men on and off the field.  We are thrilled to have Scott Riley serve as our new head football coach.”

Tobacco Trust Fund Awards $10,000 To Corinth, West Johnston Schools

The NC Tobacco Trust Fund Commission awarded $5,000 grants to Corinth Holders and South Johnston High Schools. From left are Jason Davis, State FFA Coordinator; Katelyn Honeycutt, Corinth Holders FFA Chapter President; Chad Holloman, Corinth Holders FFA advisor; Horace Johnson, Central Region Agricultural Education Coordinator; Cindy Adams, South Johnston FFA advisor; Jonathan Hardee, South Johnston FFA Treasurer; Kayla Strickland, South Johnston FFA President; and Jeff Jennings of the NC Tobacco Trust Fund Commission.

Corinth Holders High School teacher Chad Holloman and West Johnston High School teacher Cindy Adams both recently received a $5,000 grant through the NC Tobacco Trust Fund Commission. 

These grants will be used to create and enhance agricultural and economic initiatives across the state including agriculture education improvement grants of up to $5,000. The objective is to enhance projects that boost local schools and encourage students to pursue agricultural-related careers.

The General Assembly created the NC Tobacco Trust Fund Commission in 2000 to help soften the financial impact to farmers and tobacco-related businesses caused by the sharp decline of tobacco in the agricultural economy.

The commission’s funding comes from a set appropriation of monies paid by cigarette manufacturers under the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement to the state. 

Since 2002, the NCTTF has awarded over 200 grants to public and nonprofit agencies that meet the goals of strengthening the rural and tobacco-dependent economies of North Carolina.

Newton Grove Woman Facing Multiple Drug Charges
A Newton Grove woman has been arrested on charges she was buying pseudoephedrine pills to be used to make methamphetamines.

Wanda Larue Long, 31, of Alex Benton Road, Newton Grove was arrested following an investigation by the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, Goldsboro/Wayne County Drug Task Force, and the NC SBI.

Long was charged with seven counts of possession/distribute methamphetamine precursors.

Bail was set at $50,000.

Selma Amends Water And Sewer Mapping Project
The Town of Selma will pay an additional $3,500 to complete the Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping of the Town’s sewer system.

In 2012, the Town contracted with the Wooten Company to conduct a water and sewer-mapping project.

Town Manager Jon Barlow said the original contract called for the mapping of 31 miles of water and 31 miles of sewer lines.

Actual fieldwork found there was actually 52 miles of water lines. At that time, the Town Council approved an additional $15,000 to map the additional 21 miles of water lines.

As work progressed on the sewer portion of the project, Barlow said 50 additional manholes have been discovered that were not on the original set of sewer maps. That discovery prompted the additional $3,500 needed to complete the project.

Council members weren’t pleased with the request of additional funds. Council Member Eric Sellers (pictured above) said he wanted to eliminate any more “gotchas and surprises.”

Suspect Accused Of Using Deceased Mothers Name
To Commit Crime
Smithfield Police say a woman who allegedly stole a video game system from a friend then sold it to a local business used the name of her deceased mother in an attempt to avoid being caught.

Justina Anne Madelino, 34, of Buck Road, Middlesex was arrested Sunday just hours after the alleged incident.

Madelino had been staying with a friend on Kay Drive, Police Lt. R.K. Powell said.  The friend noticed Madelino was gone on Sunday, along with his Play Station 3 game system. 

Lt. Powell said Madelino sold the game system to a local business, and when asked for her identification used the name of her dead mother in an attempt to avoid being identified.

Madelino was arrested a short time later and charged with larceny, identity theft, and obtaining property by false pretenses. Bail was set at $50,500. 

The stolen game system was recovered.

Police: Marijuana Seized During Traffic Stop
A Forsyth County man was arrested on felony drug charges following a traffic stop on North Brightleaf Boulevard in Smithfield Monday night.

Smithfield Police Lt. R.K. Powell said officers located 16.5 grams of suspected marijuana wrapped in baggies in the possession of Joshua Jemetrius Gainey, 21, of Winston Salem.

Gainey was charged with felony possession with intent to sell or deliver marijuana, and felony maintaining a vehicle for a controlled substance.   

Gainey was booked into the Johnston County Jail under a $20,000 bond.

Four Oaks Woman Facing DWI Charge

A woman wanted for failing to appear in court in December was arrested on drunk driving charges during a traffic stop around 11:20pm Monday on US70 East at Mallard Road.

Smithfield Police charged Krystal Nicole Elliott, 29, of Devil’s Racetrack Road, Four Oaks with driving while impaired and driving on a revoked license.

At the time of the traffic stop, officers said Elliott was wanted for failing to show up for a December court date for an unrelated driving on a revoked license charge. 

Elliott was incarcerated in the Johnston County Jail under a $2,500 bond and given a June 12 court date on the misdemeanor charges.

Arts Council’s 8th Annual Golf Tournament Friday 

The Johnston County Arts Council’s 8th Annual Scramble for the Arts golf tournament will be held on Friday, April 25th at the Johnston County Country Club in Smithfield.  Ladies and gentlemen will enjoy a day of golf, food, fun, and fellowship. Check in will begin at 11:45 AM followed by a shotgun start at 12:30 PM.

The Scramble for the Arts golf tournament is one of just two fund raising events sponsored annually by the Johnston County Arts Council.  Money raised through this golf tournament will go to support the various programs of the Johnston County Arts Council including: Artists-in-the-Schools, Grassroots Arts Program, Regional Artists Program, and Johnston Community College Scholarships.  The entry fee is $60.00 per player.

The format will be a four-ball scramble Captains choice.  The $60 entry fee will include green fees, cart, practice balls, a 50/50 drawing ticket, door prize ticket, putting contest, hospitality bag and a meal during the award ceremony at the end of the tournament. 
Those individuals playing in the Scramble for the Arts will have the opportunity to participate in several contests throughout the tournament, including putting contest and a hole-in-one contest. 

If you would like additional information on this tournament contact the Johnston County Arts Council at 919-938-0306 or info@jcartscouncil.org

Book Talk Planned For Wednesday At JCC
Dr. Wanda Robinson Lee of Smithfield will host a book talk and book signing for her “God’s Voice Choices That Led My Journey” from 3:30 to 4:30pm on Wednesday, April 23 at the Learning Resource Center on the main campus of Johnston Community College in Smithfield.

In her new memoir, Dr. Lee emphasizes that when God speaks and people listen and trust in him, positive things do happen. God speaks to everyone in different ways.

Dr. Lee is a born-again Christian with a love for people, especially senior citizens.

Retired from the North Carolina Public Schools System, Lee is an adjunct instructor at JCC.  She is a chaplain volunteer at Johnston Health and makes weekly visits at Smithfield Manor Nursing Home.

Wednesday’s event at JCC is free and open to the public.

Fundraiser To Help Those With Life Threatening Illnesses Sunday
A fundraiser for The Mama Edna Project, honoring the life and legacy of Mama Edna Honeycutt McLamb will be held on Sunday, April 27th.

McLamb was a powerhouse of love and respect, and paying it forward, in the Johnston County community. Her willingness and generosity to help others gave rise to The Mama Edna Project, which exists solely to aid people with life-threatening illness such as cancer. The Project believes that nutrition should be an integral part of any treatment regimen, and in the spirit of Mama Edna, donates juicers, produce and other tools to help individuals face and hopefully conquer illness.

The groups semi-annual fundraising events help, along with individual donations throughout the year, help us provide necessary nutritional information, and services to financially disabled cancer clients in the Triangle area and beyond.

The fundraiser will be held at Double Barley Brewing at 3174 US 70, Smithfield, NC 27577 on April 27th from 1-6pm.
For more information contact Andrew Klutz or Timothy McLamb at 919-780-8669 or email.

King Completes Basic Training
Air Force Airman 1st Class Adam R. King graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas.

The airman completed an intensive, eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness, and basic warfare principles and skills.

Airmen who complete basic training earn four credits toward an associate in applied science degree through the Community College of the Air Force.

King is the son of Jim M. and Kristie J. King of Asheville and brother of Jacob A. King of Clayton.

He is a 2009 graduate of Clyde A. Erwin High School in Asheville.

24 Charges Filed At Kenly DWI Checkpoint
The Kenly Police Department held an Easter Weekend DWI Checkpoint.  A total of 21 law enforcement officers from a number of agencies participated in the checking station on US301 North near the Johnston-Wilson County line on Saturday night.

Officers filed 24 charges ranging from expired license, child seat belt violations, driving on a revoked license, and failing to appear in court.

Officers from the Kenly Police Department, Micro Police, Selma Police, Princeton Police, NC Highway Patrol, and NC DMV License & Theft Bureau participated. Photo courtesy JoCoFire.com

Two Charged Following Meth Lab Discovery In Clayton Area Home

A Clayton couple was arrested Friday after deputies with the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) reportedly located an “elaborate” meth lab in their home.

It began after Ryanne Leigh Gardner, 32, of 115 Javelin Court, ran out of her home yelling for help. A neighbor reportedly called 911 reporting a domestic incident at the home.

When officers arrived shortly after 1:30pm, no one initially came to the door. As officers walked around the house, they reportedly heard two people inside yelling and screaming and thought a physical altercation was occurring.

As deputies were preparing to make forcible entry into the home, Andrew David Gardner, 34, came to the door, according to Tammy Amaon, Public Information Officer with the JCSO. 

During a search of the home, officers noticed a chemical smell and in the kitchen a possible meth lab.

The two suspects were charged with manufacturing methamphetamines, maintaining a dwelling to keep a controlled substance, felony conspiracy, and possession/distribute meth precursors.

At last report, Both Ryanne and Andrew Gardner remain in the Johnston County Jail under a $350,000 bond each. Photo courtesy JoCoFire.com

Meth Lab Found In Wayne County
The Wayne County Sheriff’s Office located a meth lab at a residence near Dudley on Thursday. 

Officers had responded to a property damage call. While at the home, deputies received information about possible drug activity and received permission to search the property.

During the search a meth lab, which was inactive at the time, along with 40 grams of suspected methamphetamines were located.

Michael Britt Holmes, 23 and Kristen Rene Little, 19, both of Heather Ann Lane, Dudley were both charged with manufacturing methamphetamine and trafficking methamphetamine. 

Holmes was given a $200,000 bond. Little was held under a $125,000 bond. 

Deputies Link Teens To Barn Fire     
Sheriff’s deputies have linked two Johnston County teens to a fire that destroyed a barn filled with hay. It happened last Thursday in the 5600 block of Zack’s Mills Road, Angier, in the McGee’s Crossroads community.

An eyewitness reported seeing two people run from the barn just a short time before flames were visible.

Based on the eyewitness description and other evidence gathered by authorities, Christopher Dixon, 18, and Ricky Raequan Richardson, 16, both of Zack’s Mill Road, Angier were arrested a few hours after the fire and charged with felony burning a building. 

Both Dixon and Richardson were booked into the Johnston County Jail under a $25,000 bond each.    

Troopers Intensify Focus On Teen Drivers
Operation Drive To Live 2014 Underway

With prom season running from late-April to early-May at high schools across the state, the North Carolina Highway Patrol launched Operation Drive to Live on Monday, April 21. The campaign will run through Friday, April 25. 

The operations primary purpose is to reduce the number of teenage related traffic collisions and deaths.

According to National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, young drivers are significantly over represented in fatal crashes, particularly 16- and 17-year-olds. Immaturity and inexperience are primary factors contributing to fatal crashes by young drivers. Young drivers, ages 15- to 20-years old, are more vulnerable to death and injury on our roadways as traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers in the US and North Carolina.

Mile for mile, teenagers are involved in three times as many fatal crashes as all other drivers. One area that is particularly concerning is distracted driving where approximately 16% of all distracted driving crashes involve drivers under 20. In 2012 alone, 3,328 were killed in distracted driving crashes in the US.

In 2013, the Highway Patrol investigated over 47,013 motor vehicle collisions involving drivers and passengers who were between the ages of 15 – 19. Of those collisions, 86 resulted in one or more fatalities.

“Prom season affords the Highway Patrol an opportunity to bring teen driver safety to the forefront,” said Bill Grey, commander of the North Carolina Highway Patrol.  "Through education and enforcement efforts, we can reduce the number of our teenagers killed and injured on North Carolina Highways.”

To combat these trends, Troopers will be conducting traffic safety education programs within the state’s schools.  The enforcement of all traffic laws in and around school zones will also be a top priority.  Although the official campaign is scheduled for just a week, the efforts of the Highway Patrol and other law enforcement agencies will continue throughout the year.

Teen Arrested For Reckless Driving In School Parking Lot

A Smithfield teenager was arrested Saturday night for allegedly driving recklessly in the parking lot of Westview Elementary School.

Around 11:41pm, a Johnston County deputy on patrol noticed a white Ford Mustang pull into the school parking lot. 

Knowing the school was closed, the officer followed the Mustang, which reportedly began spinning tires, drive at a high rate of speed, and then attempted to draw circles in the parking lot, officials said.

The driver, Kevin Anthony Stutts, 17, of Lee Trace Drive, Smithfield was arrested and charged with reckless driving with wanton disregard. He was released on a $2,000 bond.

Clayton Driver Facing DWI Charge

A Clayton man is facing drunk driving charges following a traffic stop around 1am Sunday on Slate Top Road.

A Johnston County deputy was on patrol when he reportedly got behind the suspects pickup truck. At an intersection it made a wide turn going off the roadway into the grass, then crossed the centerline twice in a very short distance.

The driver, Matthew James Stephens, 24, of Cleveland Road, Clayton was arrested during a traffic stop.

Stephens was charged with DWI and driving on a revoked license.  According to a sheriff’s office spokesperson, Stephens registered 0.15 on the Breathalyzer, nearly double the legal limit of 0.08 in NC.

Stephens was released on a $1,500 bond pending an appearance in Johnston County District Court.


Student Charged With Drug Possession
A Corinth Holders High student was arrested Sunday morning for allegedly having marijuana and drug paraphernalia in his possession.

Around 1am, a deputy responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle parked on B.H. Parrish Road outside of Benson.

When the officer arrived, he reportedly located 17 year-old Hector Perez of Barnes Road, Middlesex sitting in the driver’s seat of the vehicle.  The officer said it appeared the teen had been asleep. Perez allegedly told officers he had left a party in Benson and had gotten lost on the way home.

Officers reportedly found a small bag of suspected marijuana in a soft drink cup and a marijuana joint on the floorboard.

Perez denied both items were his, according to Tammy Amaon, Public information Officer, with the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office.

Perez was given a $500 bond the two misdemeanor charges of marijuana and drug paraphernalia possession.

SUV Goes Up In Flames
A small SUV went up in flames Friday night on Shotwell Road outside of Clayton.

The Clayton Fire Department responded to the 10:30pm incident and quickly extinguished the fire.

The Clayton Police Department directed traffic as the roadway was blocked for about a half hour.

No injuries were reported.
Photo courtesy JoCoFire.com


Sheriff Opens New Fleet Services Building

(Top Photo)(L to R) Sheriff Steve Bizzell, vehicle technician Brody Smith, and Fleet Services Manager Larry Braswell examine a Dodge patrol car inside the new fleet services building (pictured lower right).

A new Fleet Services Building opened this month by the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office should help save taxpayers thousands of dollars each year.

The facility, located off North Brightleaf Boulevard on Shelter Way in Smithfield, opened April 1st after being under construction 8 months.  It replaces a nearby single bay facility opened in July 2008.

Sheriff Steve Bizzell said the new 7200 square foot building features 5 bays to work on county vehicles, plus a sixth bay to store the Sheriff’s Office Incident Command Vehicle.

The building cost about $500,000 but didn’t come at any additional cost to taxpayers. Sheriff Bizzell received permission from county commissioners to skip the purchase of new sheriff’s patrol cars one year. That was equivalent to the cost of the building.

And the main contractors for the county-owned building all came from the local area.  “The contractor, electrician, HVAC, concrete and all major subs were from Johnston County. We wanted to keep the money in the county,” Sheriff Bizzell said.

Larry Braswell is the Fleet Services Manager, and is assisted by Brody Smith, Vehicle Technician.

Sheriff Bizzell said prior to opening the first fleet building in 2008, sheriff’s deputies had to take their patrol cars to one of a number of mechanics for oil changes and other repairs.  They had to wait their turn for the work and couldn’t be on patrol. So 6 years ago, the work was brought in house but was crammed into a single bay.

Due to the tremendous cost savings realized since 2008, a larger facility to accommodate a growing number of patrol cars and other county vehicles was needed.

The new building will also service county vehicles operated by animal services, building and grounds, tax office, social services, mental health, agricultural center, 911, EMS first responders, and county owned rescue vehicles. 

From oil changes to tire rotations, inspections, brakes and rotor work, all of the routine maintenance will be performed. 

Bizzell said fleet services has already allowed him to stretch the lifespan of patrol cruisers from an average of 120,000 to 150,000 miles before they are surplused. 

Parts, tires and oil are purchased wholesale or on state contract guaranteeing the lowest prices. 

And deputies don’t have to worry about the quality of the work.  “Larry and Brody take personal pride in every vehicle,” Sheriff Bizzell said.

It will also allow deputies to spend less time waiting for repair work on their car and more time on the road.  Most work is done within 30 minutes. If the work is more major, the officer can drop their car off and pick up a spare cruiser to drive until their vehicle is ready.

Sheriff Bizzell said the building has been a vision of his for a number of years. 

Clayton Resident Seeks County And Town Help Promoting Kidsville News
Kidsville News editor Amy Wilkins is seeking both the Johnston County Board of Commissioners and Town of Clayton’s help promoting her newspaper.

Wilkins, a Clayton resident, told both groups that Kidsville is a free children’s newspaper for Johnston County readers.

Wilkins said Kidsville News is a fun, free, family newspaper that promotes education, reading and good character traits in K-6 grades.

The newspaper is carried in the Clayton Library, The Clayton Center, seven Clayton area schools, Johnston County hospitals, the Clayton Chamber of Commerce and many physician’s offices and local businesses, Wilkins said.

Kidsville News
is currently being used by the NC Department of Public Instruction for reading assessments and end-of-grade testing.

Wilkins hopes county and town leaders will join support for the paper and help to spread the word.

Autopsy: Prominent Cardiologist Died From Natural Causes

A preliminary autopsy report on a prominent Johnston County physician shows no signs of foul play. 

Dr. Kenneth S. Friedman was found dead at his home on Townsend Drive in the Glen Laurel neighborhood on April 10th.  The 60 year-old physician was found unresponsive by Clayton Police who were called to the address for a welfare check. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

While the final autopsy report on Dr. Friedman has not been completed, Clayton Police Department spokesperson Stacy Beard said the preliminary autopsy report revealed Friedman died from natural causes, most likely a brain hemorrhage.   

Friedman, who moved to Clayton in 2001, owned and operated Cardiology Associates. He was known by colleagues for implanting one of the first implantable defibrillators in a community hospital setting. 

Friedman was active in Project Access, a free medical service program that provided free health care to patients without insurance. 

Friedman was contracted to work at Johnston Health in Smithfield doing stress testing on Wednesday’s in the hospital.

According to Chuck Elliott, CEO of Johnston Health, “Dr. Friedman was a dear friend and co-worker, and we’ll miss him greatly here at Johnston Health. Our staff liked that he was easy going and down to earth, and his patients appreciated that he talked with them in a way that made them feel safe and comfortable.”

Funeral services for Dr. Friedman were held April 14th at McLaurin Funeral Home in Clayton. Interment followed at Raleigh Memorial Park.

Friedman is survived by his twin daughters.

75 New Housing Permits Issued In March
New housing construction continues to show gains in Johnston County. 

According to the Johnston County Inspections Department, 75 new residential housing permits were issued in March, up from 72 in March 2013. 

The average value of each home permit was $119,052.  

Last month, 7 doublewide and 10 singlewide permits were issued.

The Inspections Department issued permits for $19.6 million in work last month and collected $152,726.30 in fees.

A total of 2,577 inspections passed and 816 failed.

Suspect Indicted For Raping Child He Met Online
A Johnston County Grand Jury has indicted a Carteret County man for allegedly having sex with a 14 year-old Johnston County girl he befriended on the Internet.

Alan Matthew Deboer, 20, of Newport, NC was named in a three count criminal complaint charging him with statutory rape, solicitation of a child by computer to commit an unlawful sex act and second degree kidnapping.

According to Tammy Amaon, Public Information Officer with the JCSO, Deboer met the 14 year-old girl through a social media site. After communicating with the young girl for two months, authorities allege Deboer drove to Johnston County and took the girl to a Four Oaks area motel where they had sex.

The incident was reported March 3 and was investigated by sheriff’s detectives and Four Oaks Police.

Authorities said they do not suspect there were any additional victims. 

Man Indicted For Habitual Impaired Driving

A True Bill of Indictment has been handed down by a Johnston County Grand Jury against a Selma man.  Robert Karl Georgi, 39, of Graham Street, was indicted April 7 for felony habitual impaired driving.

On March 7, 2014, Smithfield Police arrested Georgi for allegedly driving drunk on East Rose Street. He later registered 0.16 on the Breathalyzer, according to a police spokesperson. His vehicle was also seized.

According to the April 7 indictment, Georgi had prior convictions for driving while impaired on February 19, 2008 in Johnston County, and two separate convictions for DWI on September 8, 2009 in Wayne County. 

Adams Completes Basic Training
Air Force Airman Diana C. Adams graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas.

The airman completed an intensive, eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness, and basic warfare principles and skills.

Airmen who complete basic training earn four credits toward an associate in applied science degree through the Community College of the Air Force.

Adams is the daughter of Linda Adams of Clayton, NC and Bryan Adams of Conway, SC. She is a 2009 graduate of West Johnston High School near Benson. She earned an associate degree in 2012 from Johnston Community College in Smithfield.

May 13th Public Hearing Set For Stancil Property

The Selma Town Council has scheduled a May 13th public hearing regarding Warren Stancil’s request for town annexation of 26.287 acres of property he owns at Interstate 95.

Stancil is requesting the annexation on behalf of Interstate Outdoor, Inc. to make the location of a billboard conform to North Carolina Department of Transportation regulations.

Since I-95 is a controlled route, NCDOT regulations state Stancil’s property must be located within Selma’s town limits.

The public hearing will take place Tuesday, May 13th at 6:30 p.m. in the Jernigan Building at 106 East Anderson Street.

Princeton Man Linked To $9,000 Theft
An arrest has been made in a four-month investigation into the theft of $9,000 worth of copper and other items from a tower site.

On December 19, 2013, American Tower Corporation reported someone had entered their facility at 5567 Rains Crossroads Road, Princeton and taken the items.

On April 15, the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office arrested James Michael Guy, 37, of 5569 Rains Crossroads Road, Princeton on three felony charges: breaking and entering, larceny, and injury to property obtaining metal. 

Johnston County Sheriff’s Captain A.C. Strickland said detectives later learned the stolen items were taken to a Wayne County recycling facility where they were sold.

Guy, whose arrest report listed as being unemployed, was confined in the Johnston County Jail under a $50,000 bond. 

Convicted Felon Charged With Firearm Possession

A Sampson County man is facing charges after an alleged shooting incident in southern Johnston County on April 14th. 

Justin Ryan Jackson, 20, of Clinton was arrested April 15th and charged with possession of a firearm by a felon and communicating threats.

According to Johnston County Sheriff’s Captain A.C. Strickland, Jackson went to the home of his ex-girlfriend on Langston Road, Newton Grove and allegedly fired a gun into the air. He also threatened his ex-girlfriend during the 1:26pm incident. 

Jackson was arrested the next day.

According to the NC Department of Corrections website, Jackson served 20 months in a state prison for possession of a firearm by a felon before his release in January 2012.  Jackson had prior convictions for felony drug and felony breaking and entering.

He was given a $26,000 bond on the latest charges. 

Clayton Police File Burglary, Assault Charges
Clayton Police arrested a suspect on first-degree burglary, assault with a deadly weapon, and damage to property charges following an incident Sunday on South Moore Street.

Police responded to a disturbance after the alleged suspect, David Philip Turner, 21, entered the victim’s residence and removed an item from the refrigerator then left. 

The victim dialed 911 and told responding officers he did not want Turner to return. 

Turner allegedly returned to the victims’ house a short time later and struck the homeowner over the head with a BB gun.

Police responded back to the scene and arrested Turner on the three charges. He was booked into the Johnston County Jail under an $80,000 secured bond.  

Deputies Arrest Four Oaks Man

Johnston County deputies arrested a Four Oaks man Tuesday night after responding to a disturbance on Parkertown Road.  Authorities said Chester Leon Parker, 42, of Hummingbird Road had left the scene prior to their arrival.

However, Parker was spotted on his vehicle a short time later spinning tires while accelerating.  Parker reportedly drove into a field where his truck got stuck in the mud. He attempted to flee on foot but was apprehended.

Parker was charged with reckless driving, driving on a revoked license and resisting a public officer. He was booked into the Johnston County Jail under a $5,000 bond.  


School Board Urged To Remember Corinth Holders
High School Exceeding Student Capacity
7,000 New Homes Planned For Area

A member of the Corinth Holders High School Advisory Council has ask the Johnston County Board of Education to remember their school in its future plans.

Jeff Jennings (pictured right) told the school board Corinth Holders High currently has almost 1,500 students enrolled and 200 more students are projected for the fall, bring the total to at least 1,700 students.

Jennings said there are eight mobile units on campus and that the main building classrooms are fully utilized.

Corinth Holders is just one of the challenges faced in a growing county, Jennings said as he urged the school board to keep the school in mind as it plans for the next few years.

Since it opened four years ago, Corinth Holders has become the largest high school in Johnston County, Jennings said.

School Superintendent Dr. Ed Croom agreed Jennings assessment of continued growth in the region.

Dr. Croom said Clayton developer Becky Flowers recently told him there are plans for 7,000 new homes in the area, which will continue to add to the dramatic increase in school enrollment in the northern Johnston County area. WTSB Photo

Princeton High Football Field Named After Coach
The Princeton High School Football Field has been officially renamed in honor of former coach Harvey Brooks.

An official request was made during the January school board meeting for the renaming. The school board waited until April to make it official.

The football program at Princeton was established under the guidance of Coach Brooks. His football record was 238-99-3. He retired as the third most winning high school football coach in North Carolina history.

Brooks has been inducted into the Princeton, Johnston County and North Carolina Halls of Fame.

Brooks also excelled as a coach in other high school sports. His basketball record was 320-140, baseball record was 64-12 and his track record was 12-0.

At age 85, Brooks still loves football and occasionally attends Princeton game.

Princeton High School Athletic Director Marty Gurganus initially made the recommendation in a letter addressed to school board members last November.

Fourth Suspect In 2012 Double Shooting Captured In Michigan
The fourth and final suspect in the shootings of a Smithfield mother and her 8 year-old son has been captured in Michigan.

Kumani Regains, 43, was arrested this week in Oakland, Michigan just outside Detroit by a Fugitive Task Force.

Regains and three other men, Sameer Muhammod Egar, 28, of Detroit, Michigan, Mister Premier Height of Kenly and Cornel Breon Harper of Kinston were linked by Smithfield Police to the September 5, 2012 shootings of Jalissa Wallace and her son Jeremiah. 

Both were inside their apartment at 38 Towbridge Street when gunshots range out. Both were struck multiple times. Jeremiah was left paralyzed from the waist down.

Authorities said Regains also face multiple charges in other states including Michigan for other crimes.

Just this week, the Johnston County District Attorney’s Office announced the first of the four suspects, Sameer Edgar went to trial and was sentenced to 15 to 19 years in the NC Department of Corrections.

Smithfield Police never publicly released a motive for the 2012 shootings but officers did say the two victims were not the intended targets.  Michigan Department of Corrections mugshot


Selma Police: Downtown Business Used As A Front To Sell Meth
Selma Police allege two men were using a downtown antique business as a front to sell drugs.

T&S Treasury, located at 115 South Raiford Street, had been under investigation for a year before it was raided by officers on January 9th.  Detective S.C. Richardson said details about the raid are just now being released because of an ongoing investigation.

Stephen Jones McLaughlin, 46, and Terry Jerome Creech, 53, were arrested in January on multiple counts of possession and selling methamphetaimes, plus maintaining a place to sell or deliver narcotics.

Both are now out of jail on $150,000 bonds each while awaiting trial.

Detective Richardson said undercover agents made three buys from the business and three buys from the suspects home.  McLaughlin and Creech lived in the Selma city limits at the time of the drug buys at their home, Richardson said, but have since moved.

Agents allegedly seized “Mexican dope” which is high quality methamphetamine along with prescription pills.

Police said the Mexican-made meth is a higher quality drug than what is produced locally. It also demands a higher price. It is sold on the streets for around $150 per gram where locally-made meth, sells between $80 and $100 per gram.

Richardson said items related to the methamphetamine business were seized from T&S Treasury.

Richardson said McLaughlin and Creech could possibly face federal charges, telling WTSB the investigation into the January drug raid is still ongoing. 

Federal, State Agents Make Large Drug Bust
US Drug Enforcement Agents along with the NC SBI and members of the Goldsboro/Wayne County Drug Squad raided a home on Purple Iris Drive in Pikeville on Wednesday.

As part of an ongoing local, state, and federal investigation into the distribution of heroin in the Wayne County area, agents seized $26,420 in cash, 15 firearms, one vehicle, and $6,000 worth of heroin during the raid.

Stacey Renard Pittman, 43, and Kenneth Sauls, 61, were arrested on various drug related charges. 

More arrests are anticipated.      

Motorcyclist Seriously Injured In Accident
A Four Oaks man remains at WakeMed after being badly injured in a high speed motorcycle crash on Monday.

Around 4:07am, Smithfield Police said 21 year-old Joel Alexander Lopez of Green Pasture Road was traveling approximately 60mph on Durwood Stephenson Highway when he lost control and was ejected onto the pavement.

Lopez traveled 291 feet after striking the pavement, while his 1986 Honda motorcycle continued 361 feet, according to an accident report.

Police suspect alcohol may have been a factor. No other vehicles were involved.

Charges are pending. 

Two Hurt In Highway 210 Crash
The NC Highway Patrol is investigating a serious crash that closed a section of Highway 210 near Smithfield Saturday evening. The crash happened between the Cleveland Road and Swift Creek Road intersections on Highway 210.

The occupants of this vehicle were trapped inside and had to be cut free by the Smithfield Fire Department using hydraulic tools.

One person was rushed to WakeMed for treatment of serious injuries. Another was transported to Johnston Health in Smithfield.

The Johnston County Sheriff’s Office and Smithfield Police assisted with rerouting traffic around the scene. Photo courtesy JoCoFire.com  

Selma Will Seek $50,000 Grant For Sewer System
The Selma Town Council has voted to support a grant application that will help the town conduct an in-depth study of their water and sewer system.

The Town will seek a $50,000 grant from the Division of Water Infrastructure.

If approved, funds would be used to smoke test 31,700 feet of sewer lines checking for leaks. A camera will then be used to inspect another 10,800 feet of sewer lines looking for leaks or other problems.

A report on the findings would then be presented back to the town council for consideration for possible corrective actions, along with a cost estimate.

Town Manager Jon Barlow (pictured) said the Town could then address some of the major issues and bring the system closer to the intended operating levels, reducing the risk of overflows.

Repairing leaks would also decrease the amount paid to Johnston County and free up capital for the Town to use in making additional repairs in the future to its system, Barlow said.

King Graduates From Military Training
Air Force Reserve Airman 1st Class Jonathan A. King graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas.

The airman completed an intensive, eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness, and basic warfare principles and skills.

Airmen who complete basic training earn four credits toward an associate in applied science degree through the Community College of the Air Force.

King is the son of Lisa Davis of Jacksonville, Alabama and the nephew of Ellen Franks of Princeton, NC.


Benson Business Robbed At Gunpoint
Law enforcement officers are investigating Tuesday nights armed robbery of the Treasure Hut in Benson. Around 10:30pm, a lone gunman walked into the sweepstakes café, located at 807 South Wall Street, and at gunpoint took an undisclosed amount of money.

The Johnston County Sheriff’s Office and Benson Police both responded to the business.

Sheriff’s Captain A.C. Strickland said there were customers inside the business at the time of the robbery but no injuries were reported.

The suspect was described as a black male with skinny build, wearing a hoodie, bandana, and blue jeans.  He fled from the business on foot.

Anyone with information about the robbery of the Treasure Hut in Benson is asked to contact the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office at 919-989-5000. Dunn Daily Record Photo  

Police: 3 People Shot Following Dispute Over Water Gun  
Selma Police have arrested two people in connection with the shootings of three people Friday afternoon.

The incident happened at the Stanridge Apartments off River Road.

Police Captain R. L. Daniels said the shootings all stemmed from a prior altercation over a water gun.

Police said Antoinette Price was shot by Barren Jamal Amerson.

Amerson and Toriana Dublin were then shot by DeAngelo Covington.

Amerson was charged with one count of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill. Covington was charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill.

Police expect all the victims to recover from their injuries. 

Wilson Man Sentenced To Federal Prison For 2013 Robberies
A Wilson man has been sentenced to 19-1/2 years in federal prison for a string of armed robberies.

Artavious Quonta Boddie, 24, was sentenced in federal court in Raleigh on April 10.

Boddie had pled guilty on December 18, 2013 to conspiring to rob a business engaged in interstate commerce and using a firearm during a crime of violence.

Boddie conspired to rob three businesses between February 21-24, 2013.  They were Discount Cigarettes in Wilson, the Kangaroo Express in Wilson, and the Fuel Doc in Lucama.

The investigation was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms, Wilson Police, Wilson County Sheriff’s Office, Kenly Police, and the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office. 

Suspect Indicted In Kenly Meth Lab Explosion

The man Kenly Police said had a mobile meth lab explode inside his truck outside a Family Dollar store in February has been indicted by a Johnston County Grand Jury.

The Grand Jury indicted 24 year-old Joshua Robert Phillips for manufacturing methamphetamines.

On February 23, Phillips, of Flower Hill Road, Middlesex had reportedly pulled up to the front of the Family Dollar and went inside. Moments later a ‘one pot’ meth lab inside his truck exploded, sending shrapnel and vehicle parts more than 70 feet, according to Police Chief Josh Gibson.

Store security camera footage showed a fireball engulfing the truck. The blast was so intense it buckled the doors on the truck.

Chief Gibson said the mobile meth lab was in a 16-ounce bottle but the pressure was so intense, it detonated like a small bomb.

Chief Gibson said a “one pot batch of meth” is often made in a 16-ounce bottle. It has to be shaken frequently, but the cap has to be turned often to release pressure or it can explode, as it did in this incident. 

Phillips was arrested at the scene. The SBI assisted with the clean up of the meth lab, Chief Gibson said.

Homeless Man Indicted For Sexually Assaulting Child
A homeless man has been indicted on three sex charges for allegedly molesting an 8 year-old girl after the child’s family allowed the man to stay in their home.

Danny Ferrell Bass, 60, was indicted last week by a Grand Jury sitting in Smithfield.  Bass was indicted on one count of sex offense with a child and two counts of taking indecent liberties with a child.

The alleged incidents happened between January 1 and February 28 of this year. 

The Johnston County Sheriff’s Office received the complaint against Bass on March 13 and he was arrested March 21 on the charges.

Authorities described Bass as an acquaintance of the victim and her family.

School Board Urged To Take Stand On Tenure
A prominent Johnston County teacher advocate is urging the Board of Education to go on record opposing the end of teacher tenure.

At the center of the controversy is state legislation, which will eliminate career status for teachers by 2018 and implements a four-year contract for 25 percent of eligible teachers.

In a March 14th letter to school employees, School Board Chairman Larry Strickland addressed the controversial legislation.

But Rich Nixon, (pictured right) President of the Johnston County Association of Educators, told board members they need to do more.

He said teachers want the board to adopt Strickland’s letter as a Resolution of the Board, publicly opposing the 25 percent contracts.

“While the board’s intent was commendable,” Nixon said, “I believe it has underestimated the depth of feeling among teachers over these contracts.”

Nixon said hundreds of Johnston County teachers have joined with their colleagues from across the state in signing pledges not to accept the 25 percent contracts.
Forty-one school boards across the state have taken public stands against the legislation.

Although the school board’s letter to employees indicates opposition to the 25 percent contract, Nixon said the board’s public silence suggests otherwise.

At Wednesday’s meeting, school board members sympathized with the teachers but took no official action.
School Superintendent Dr. Ed Croom said school officials this week had a conference call with legislators regarding the legislation.

Board Member Donna White said the board’s handling of the issue is a “work in progress.” Board Member Mike Wooten said his wife has taught public school for 30 years. “Believe me, I’ve heard you,” Wooten said.

Selma Middle School Adding 5th Grade Students
Beginning next school year, fifth grade students at Selma Elementary School will transition to Selma Middle School.

Over the last three years, the enrollment numbers at Selma Elementary have increased by 13.8 percent and there are 7 mobile units on campus.

Chief Operations Officer Patrick Jacobs (pictured) told the Johnston County School Board that there’s no available space for additional mobile units.

Jacobs said Selma Elementary is the second largest elementary school in the district.

To alleviate overcrowding, Jacobs said the current 5th grade would be moved to Selma Middle School. There is available space at the middle school and the 5th grade would have their own wing.

Jacobs said the 5th grade used to be at Selma Middle School several years ago and they were very successful there.

As of April 1st, the current enrollment at Selma Elementary was 1,064 students. There are currently 162 fourth graders that will transition to the middle school next year.

Jacobs said transportation will be provided and that administrators at both schools have had meetings with teachers and parents.

Dipping Into Electric Fund Costly To Smithfield Power Customers  
WTSB News has learned that every utility customer in the Town of Smithfield could see an immediate 4 to 5 percent electrical rate decrease if town officials would stop using the electric fund to pay for non-electric related expenses.   

At the April 1st Smithfield Town Council meeting, Councilman Perry Harris requested the Town end its practice of transferring money from its electric fund to its general fund.  “It’s a travesty this council needs to address,” Harris said.

Over $714,000 is being transferred this fiscal year.

Councilman Harris wants that amount cut in half during the new fiscal year budget starting July 1st and eliminated after next years budget.

But Town Manager Paul Sabiston (pictured) warned eliminating the transfer would either cause property taxes to increase or town services to decrease.

Mayor Pro-tem Andy Moore said he couldn’t support Harris’ motion until he knew what the repercussions would be.

The town manager tells WTSB News that the excess funds generated by electric sales go towards necessities. Of the $714,301 being transferred, Sabiston says $86,214 is for “a payment equivalent to a property tax payment.” 

Another $331,000 goes towards employee insurance costs. Sabiston would only say the remaining $297,000 “is transferred under the prevailing state statue.”

However, Sabiston did say in an email to WTSB that the amount taken from the electric fund is equivalent to a 4 to 5% rate decrease for town power customers.

A second WTSB email to the town manager requesting additional information on the electric fund was not answered.

Council Members Emery Ashley and Travis Scott said the Board needs to take a serious look at Harris’ proposal.

Harris agreed to table his motion on ending the transfer from the electric fund until the May 6th council meeting.

Poll: Voters Pessimistic On Personal Finances, Economy

The latest Civitas Institute Poll shows North Carolina voters blame Democrats more than Republicans for their personal financial woes as the state and nation move into the 2014 election.

While voters are slightly more positive about the overall economy, they are pessimistic when asked about their own personal financial situation both past and future. “And this ‘optimism’ about the overall economy appears in a time when nearly three-fourths of respondents believe the recession is continuing and won’t be ended for a year or more,” said Civitas President Francis X. De Luca.

“These numbers can't be interpreted any other way than being bad for Democrats,” he said.

The poll of 600 registered North Carolina voters was conducted March 18-20, and has an error margin of plus/minus 4 percent.

The majority of respondents, 59 percent, believe it will take more than 2 years for the recession to end. 15 percent think it will end within one to two years.

Since 2011, 36% of those polled believe the overall national economy and job outlook has gotten worse, 27% say it has remained unchanged, and 35% think it is better.

In the next year, 23% think the economy will worsen, 29% say it will not change, while 45% think it will improve.

As for personal finances since 2011, 45% say their finances and job situation has worsened, 22% say it has gotten better, and 45% reported no change. Only 36% think it will get better in the next year. 

When asked who is most responsible for the national economy and job outlook, 29% said President Obama, 17% blamed former President Bush, 19% the Republican majority in the US House, 13% the Democratic majority in the US Senate, and 16% said a combination. 

25% blamed President Obama for the greatest impact on their own personal finances, 12% President Bush, and 15% each the Republicans and Democrats in Congress.

Local Envirothon Teams Advance To State Competition

(Top right)   Edmundson Quadrangle 4-H ‘Quokkas’  –  Team Advisor Melody Lineberger, Matthew Cherry, Faith Turner, Jeremy Mayer, Ashley Turner, Parent Advisor Ms. Turner, and Lindsay Barnes

(Lower right)  WJHS ‘Wildcats in the Wild FFA’ – Team Advisor Eric Honeycutt, Aaron Honeycutt, Sapphire Soto, Hannah Sermersheim, Melanie Langness,  and Sam Brown

The Johnston County Envirothon teams recently placed in the top seven at the regional Envirothon competition. They will now advance to the State Envirothon to be held later this month. 

The Envirothon is a team competition for middle and high school students who are tested on their knowledge of soils, forestry, aquatics, wildlife and current environmental issues. 

Not pictured is the McGee’s Crossroads Middle School Team, the Rabid Beavers, who will also advance to the State competition.

Canada Completes Military Training
Army National Guard Pvt. Martin M. Canada has graduated from basic combat training at Fort Jackson, Columbia, S.C.

During the nine weeks of training, the soldier studied the Army mission, history, tradition and core values, physical fitness, and received instruction and practice in basic combat skills, military weapons, chemical warfare and bayonet training, drill and ceremony, marching, rifle marksmanship, armed and unarmed combat, map reading, field tactics, military courtesy, military justice system, basic first aid, foot marches, and field training exercises.

Canada is the son of Jennifer and Bill Canada of Princeton. He is a 2011 graduate of Princeton High School.