Rep. Langdon Will Seek Re-Election In 2014
On Friday, Representative James H. Langdon officially announced he would seek re-election to his sixth term in the NC House of Representatives. Langdon, a McGee’s Crossroads resident, represents District 28, which covers portions of Johnston County.
“I have had the opportunity to serve the citizens of NC House of Representatives District 28 for the past 9 years. I wanted to announce that I will be seeking another two year term for House District 28 in 2014,” Langdon said in a brief statement released to WTSB Radio.
Before becoming a state lawmaker, Langdon, a retired educator and farmer, served on the Johnston County Board of Commissioners from 1996 to 2004.
This past year, Langdon served on several key committees in the NC House. He was the Co-Chairman of the Agriculture Committee for a second term, Co-Chair of the Education Committee for a second term, Vice-Chair of the Local Government Committee for a second term, a member of the state personnel committee and committee for Natural and Economic Resources.
Langdon is married to his wife, Lena. They have one daughter, Amy.
Ellmers To Deliver GOP Weekly Address To The Nation
Congresswoman Renee Ellmers (R-NC-02) will deliver the GOP's weekly address to the nation this weekend.
In her remarks Saturday morning, she will discuss how the president's healthcare law continues to affect millions of Americans and how women and families are being targeted by government-knows-best policies.
County Hires New Tax Administrator
Johnston County Commissioners Monday hired a new Tax Administrator.
County Real Property Supervisor Sheila Garner replaces Pat Goddard, who retired this month after 12 years of service. Garner's starting salary will be $85,000 per year. Goddard was paid $111,179 per year.
Garner assumes the post January 1st and brings over 25 years experience in local government property taxation.
Garner began her career with W. P. Ferris in 1985, where she handled the first computer assisted revaluation performed for Johnston County.
Following the revaluation Garner was hired by the Johnston County Tax Office as a Real Estate Analyst and assisted in developing computerized processes, implementing procedures, and assisting with real estate, personal property and collections.
Garner had the opportunity to be a liaison between the mapping contractor, other county departments, as well as property owner’s in the first county-wide mapping project in the early 1990’s.
While at the Tax Office Garner was promoted to Real Estate Appraisal Supervisor, and assumed the supervisory duties for the real estate division and led the 1995 revaluation.
Since 2001, Garner has served as Real Property Supervisor, under Goddard's direction, and has completed two successful revaluations. Garner is certified as a North Carolina Appraiser by the North Carolina Association of Assessing Officers and by the North Carolina Department of Revenue.
Garner lives with her family in the Princeton area.
County Awards $40,000 Incentive Grant To Coca-Cola
Johnston County awarded Coca-Cola a $40,000 economic development incentive grant. The action was taken by the Board of Commissioners at Monday’s meeting.
Johnston County Economic Development Director Chris Johnson said incentives are due to Coke’s projected $5 million investment to their warehouse in Clayton.
Coca-Cola representative Robert Wheeler (pictured) said the soft drink company is adding a new robotic "order filling" system in the warehouse.
The facility is located on Shotwell Road, in part of the old Winn-Dixie distribution center. The local plant employs 280 people.
Any incentive grant in Johnston County is based on what the Company pays into the County via taxes, Johnson said.
Former Kenly Funeral Home Loses License
After state investigators found a decomposing body in the Community Funeral Home of Kenly, it revoked its license and said that its principal owner engaged in the unlicensed practice of a funeral service.
Community Funeral Service operated for about a year in the building that was formerly the office of the late physician Carl C. Sox, two doors down from Kenly Town Hall on Second Street.
Investigators, according to information supplied by the state Board of Funeral Service, were notified that water service had been disconnected to the funeral home.
When investigators arrived, according to information from the state board, they found the decomposing body of a Mexican male.
The male who died had been placed with the funeral home for transport to Mexico by the Mexican consulate.
The investigators, when they arrived at the funeral home, said “they noted both visual and olfactory evidence of decomposition” of the body “despite being embalmed.”
In addition to revoking Community Funeral Home of Kenly’s license, the board also “shall indefinitely refuse to issue or renew a funeral establishment permit…and to any funeral establishment in which its corporate officers and directors hold any financial, managerial, equity, employment or other interest.”
Further, the board decreed that Hugert Staggers Jr., identified as the president of the funeral home, shall be ineligible to apply for a traineeship in funeral directing, funeral service or embalming until May 1, 2014.
In its finding of fact, the board found that the funeral home, by and through its unlicensed owners, agents and employees knowingly made a false statement to Lester Sandlin to place on the death certificate of Jose Toledo-Villalobos that Mary Brand was the funeral director for his funeral.
Brand was identified as the chairman of the funeral home’s board of directors and manager of the funeral home.
The board found that she was never contacted to make or conduct the final disposition of Toledo-Villalobos.
In its conclusion of law, the board found that the funeral home failed to treat the dead body with respect at all times.
And, the board found, the facility was unattended at the time of inspection, had inadequate climate control or refrigeration to store human remains and did not have running water from the town of Kenly during the period the remains were stored.
“The handling of the remains…by the unlicensed owners and agents…contributed to the condition of the remains.” Story courtesy The Kenly News
Selma Police Arrest Suspect For Rape
Selma Police have arrested a Clayton man on allegations he raped a 17 year-old female acquaintance.
Christopher Antwon Boyd, 23, of Richmond Drive, Clayton was charged with second degree rape and second degree sex offense.
According to Detective J. Bass, the assault was occurred November 21 at a residence in the Selma city limits.
During questioning, Detective Bass told WTSB News, Boyd allegedly confessed to the sexual assault.
Boyd was arrested November 27 and confined in the Johnston County Jail under a $150,000 bond.
Johnston’s Unemployment Rate Drops To 6.5 Percent
October 2013 unemployment rates for individual counties were not released in November due to the recent government shutdown. But the numbers were released on Thursday.
In Johnston County, the jobless rate dropped slightly from 6.6 percent in September to 6.5 percent in October. The unemployment rate is 1.6 percent lower than the 8.1% unemployment rate a year earlier.
Statewide, 56 counties saw rates drop, 30 remained unchanged, and 14 saw increases, according to statistical data released by the NC Department of Commerce Labor and Economic Analysis Division.
Out of a labor force of 81,635, Johnston County had 5,298 people unemployed in October. Out of all 100 counties, Johnston has the 16th lowest unemployment rate in the state.
Chatham County has the lowest at 4.7 percent. Scotland County is the highest at 14.4 percent.
Other surrounding counties jobless numbers include: Wake 5.9% (unchanged), Wilson 10.4% (-0.1%), Wayne 7.6% (-0.1%), Sampson 6.8% (-0.1%), Harnett 8.6% (unchanged), Franklin 7.0% (-0.2%), Nash 9.8% (-0.5%).
North Carolina’s October unemployment was at 7.5 percent down 0.1% from 7.6% in September.
Local Church Donates School Supplies To Polenta Elementary
C3 Church in Clayton has donated new school supplies to Polenta Elementary. From left are C3 Church representative Heather UpChurch, Polenta Principal Denise Byrd, School Counselor Amy McGinnis, and C3 Church representative Crystal Jones.
Polenta Elementary School has received school supplies from a local community supporter, C3 Church on Cleveland Road in Clayton.
The donations will go towards supporting students in the school’s classrooms throughout the school year. Polenta students and staff are so thankful for C3 Church's generosity and continued support of the school.
Selma Elementary Students Donate Crates Of Food
Standing alongside several of the boxes of food donated by Selma Elementary students (from left) are Selma Elementary Principal Suzanne Mitchell, P.E. Teacher Lee Webb, P.E. Teacher Justin Willoughby, and Johnston County Schools Superintendent Dr. Ed Croom.
Students at Selma Elementary School worked together recently to donate several crates of canned food to help benefit the food missions of Edgerton Memorial United Methodist Church in Selma.
Johnston Ranks 5th Highest In Thanksgiving “Click It Or Ticket” Citations
The NC Department of Transportation and the Governor’s Highway Safety Program announced Friday that 3,666 drivers and passengers were cited for seat belt and child passenger safety violations during the Thanksgiving “Click It or Ticket” campaign held Nov. 25 through Dec. 1.
“North Carolina has made tremendous strides in the past 20 years when it comes to seat belt usage,” said Don Nail, director of GHSP. “However, as long as law enforcement officers are issuing seat belt citations, we have work to do.”
To catch those who drove without buckling up, state and local law enforcement officers manned more than 6,200 checkpoints and stepped-up patrols. Johnston County ranked fifth highest in the state for the highest number of seat belt tickets issued during the campaign.
The counties which issued highest number of seat belt citations include:
· Wake County with 239 seat belt tickets;
· Brunswick County with 236;
· Columbus County with 147;
· Mecklenburg County with 140; and
· Johnston County with 122.
The combination of stepped-up enforcement, education and public awareness campaigns is proving effective. The seat belt usage rate in North Carolina is currently 88.6 percent, up from 87.5 percent in 2012.
In addition to cracking down on unrestrained drivers and passengers, officers across the state charged 901 motorists with driving while impaired. Officers also issued 5,007 criminal violations, including 981 drug charges. They recovered 51 stolen vehicles and captured 775 fugitives.
Trooper Brian Maynard Honored By District Attorney
Johnston County District Attorney Susan I. Doyle, in an effort to recognize and thank law enforcement officers, recently began a program to publicly honor a Johnston County officer each month for their hard work and dedication to the citizens of Johnston County.
The District Attorney’s Office presented the December 2013 Johnston County Officer of the Month Award to Trooper Brian Maynard with the North Carolina State Highway Patrol. Doyle presented the award to Trooper Maynard, a native of Dunn, at a monthly meeting for all Johnston County Law Enforcement Chiefs.
“Trooper Maynard sets a very high standard for all troopers. The excellent job he does in finding and removing impaired drivers from our highway is worthy of the highest commendation. He writes great reports and always follows through by coming to court to see his cases to conclusion,” Doyle said.
“He is so polished in his courtroom testimony and has the utmost respect from prosecutors, judges and other law enforcement officers. He represents the North Carolina State Highway Patrol with distinction, and we are lucky to have him in Johnston County,” Doyle added.
Riverwood Middle To Present A Christmas Carol
The Riverwood Middle School Music Department will present Dicken’s A Christmas Carol.
The musical performance will include scenes from the adapted version issued by composer John Higgins.
The performance will take place on Friday and Saturday evening December 13th and 14th in the Riverwood Middle School Cafetorium at 7:00pm.
Tickets will be sold at the door for $5.00.
All proceeds will go future musicals and needs of the RMS Music Department.
Celebrate Christmas With Civil War Soldiers At Bentonville Battlefield
Four Oaks – Leave the hustle and bustle of modern holidays behind and travel back to a simpler place and time at Bentonville Battlefield State Historic Site’s “Civil War Christmas” event.
On Saturday, Dec. 7, drop by and help decorate an 1860s style Christmas tree, spend time with Confederate soldiers around the campfire, sip cider with civilian living historians, and tour the circa 1855 Harper House. This holiday program will take place from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., and is free and open to the public.
Members of the 27th NC Troops will demonstrate how the common Civil War-era North Carolina soldier and civilian marked the holidays by presenting musket demonstrations, mail call and discussions about uniforms and what soldiers did while home on a Christmas furlough. A small military camp will also be set up for visitors to wander through.
Visitors may also enjoy seeing the festively decorated Harper House kitchen, where volunteers will serve hot cider and cookies. To get into the spirit of the season, one can help the costumed interpreters string popcorn and cranberries, cut out paper ornaments and even decorate the Christmas tree. The Harper House, which was turned into a hospital during the Battle of Bentonville, will be set up as Union field hospital and open for hourly tours.
The Battle of Bentonville, fought March 19-21, 1865, involved 80,000 troops and was the last Confederate offensive against Union Gen. William T. Sherman. Bentonville Battlefield State Historic Site interprets the battle and the hospital, where many Confederates were left in the aftermath.
Bentonville Battlefield is located at 5466 Harper House Road, Four Oaks, NC 27524, three miles north of Newton Grove on S.R. 1008, about one hour from Raleigh and about 45 minutes from Fayetteville. For more information, visit www.nchistoricsites.org/bentonvi/bentonvi.htm or call (910) 594-0789.
New Selma Police Chief Plans To Expand Community Outreach Programs
A new Selma police chief has been named. Police Captain Richard Cooper was named late-Wednesday as the new police chief effective December 25. Cooper replaces outgoing Chief Charles Bowen who is retiring later this month. Bowen has been the chief for 9 years.
After learning he was going to be the new Chief, Cooper said, “I was ecstatic. I really appreciate the confidence that has been placed in me. I want to better the department.”
Cooper, who is now 50, did not begin his career as a law enforcement officer until the age of 31. After graduating from Smithfield Selma High School in 1981, he worked as a store manager at a local grocery store.
After completing his basic law enforcement training, Cooper was hired by the Selma Police Department working his way up the ranks as a patrol officer, K9 officer, sergeant, lieutenant, and then captain.
Cooper said he will work closely with outgoing Chief Bowen over the next 3 weeks to make the transition as smooth as possible.
A total of 23 people applied for the position, including 4 from within the department. The Town of Selma has hired only one chief from outside the ranks of the department since 1950.
As for any changes, Cooper said some will take place over the next six to 12 months. He plans for the department to do more pro-active police work, expand their Community Oriented Policing (COPs) initiatives, hold a Young Citizens Police Academy in 2014 for teens age 13 to 18, and grow the towns Community Watch organizations.
Richard Cooper is married to his wife of 27 years, Tammy, a Johnston County Schools teacher. They have two sons, ages 11 and 21. Their oldest son will be graduating from basic law enforcement training in the next few weeks and will begin working in law enforcement with the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office. WTSB Photo
South Johnston High Names New Football Coach
South Johnston High School has named Hunter Jenks as the new head football coach. Jenks previously served as the Defensive Coordinator for the Trojans from 2011-2013.
Jenks is a graduate of Wake Forest Rolesville High School where he was a four-sport letterman for the Cougars. He was a full scholarship player at Elon University, where he played offensive line and set three weight room records.
Since the completion of his playing career, he has coached at South Johnston, Wakefield and Corinth Holders High Schools.
Jenks has been both an offensive and defensive coordinator as well as a JV head coach. He has headed programs of other sports including track and men’s basketball.
“It is an honor to be the next head coach of South Johnston High School,” Jenks said. “It has been a lifelong goal to be a head football coach and I am thrilled that I will get this opportunity at South Johnston. The people of South Johnston High School and the communities of Benson, Four Oaks and Meadow make it a special place not only to work but also to live. I look forward to working with the students, the athletes, and my colleagues at South Johnston. As a program we will focus on the details necessary to be successful in our daily lives. Once we are successful on a daily basis, becoming better people first, the wins will handle themselves.”
Eddie Price, Principal at South Johnston High School said, “…Coach Jenks works to be a role model for student-athletes. He is involved in nearly every part of our school – from clubs to academic committees. We are thrilled to have Hunter Jenks serve as our new head football coach.”
Jenks is married to Elizabeth Jenks, a counselor at South Johnston, and the couple has a two year-old daughter, Ava. Photo courtesy Johnston County Schools
Gunman Tries To Rob Princeton Hardee’s
Princeton Police are looking for a lone gunman who attempted to rob the Hardee’s fast food restaurant on Smith Street Monday night.
Around 7:40pm, Police Chief T. Sutton said a black male in his early 20’s entered the restaurant, brandished a pistol, pointing it at an employee. A brief scuffle ensued. The suspect tried to fire the gun but it did not discharge.
As the suspect tried to reload the gun, the employee again scuffled with the man, before the suspect ran out the lobby door as employees were fleeing out the back door.
Witnesses said the suspect fled in a 1995-98 model silver or gold color Honda Accord. The gunman was described as being approximately 6 foot tall, 160 pounds wearing a gray shirt around his face, black/gray sweater, white gloves, black jeans, and black shoes.
Anyone with information about Monday’s night robbery is asked to contact Princeton Police at 919-936-8171.
Local Business Helping Families, Hosting Event Saturday
Boykin Motors is joining other organizations in the area who are reaching out to families in need during the Christmas season.
Boykin Motors of Smithfield is sponsoring a Toy Drive for the second year.
Last year Boykin Motors, in conjunction with Hinnant Outreach Center in Micro, was able to serve over 300 families in the Johnston County area with toys and food.
New toys are now being accepted at both Boykin Motors locations: 605 South Brightleaf Boulevard and 1195 Brogden Road, Smithfield.
Joey Boykin and his employees invite the public to come out on Saturday, December 7th to the Brightleaf Boulevard location for free food and a TV giveaway from 11am until 3pm. You are asked to bring a new toy for a needy child. All toys and food will be distributed later this month at the Hinnant Outreach Center in Micro.
Commissioners Approves Fire Insurance District Boundaries
Johnston County Commissioners have approved the county’s Fire Insurance District Boundaries.
Fire Marshal and Emergency Manager Coordinator Paul Whitehurst made a presentation at Monday’s commission meeting.
Whitehurst said that over the past two years Johnston County Emergency Services has been working with county fire departments and the GIS Department to update the current fire district maps.
Whitehurst said the purpose of this revision is to maximize the five-mile coverage of properties in the county and identify properties over six miles from a fire station.
A key change is being made in how the boundaries for each district will be aligned.
The boundaries will now follow parcels instead of the current method, which utilizes a written description based on a point-to-point plot of each district.
Whitehurst said the map approval would be a two-step process. Commissioners took the first step by adopting a resolution approving the revised boundaries.
The second step will be approval of an addendum to the current Fire Department contract. Whitehurst said the addendum will be presented for approval at the February 2014 commission meeting.
Teen Accused Of Stealing Purses From Elderly Women
Garner Police have arrested a Raleigh teen they say was responsible for stealing purses from shoppers between November 8 and December 4.
The thefts occurred at Wal-Mart on Fayetteville Road and Target on Timber Drive East.
Christopher Lamont Butler, 18, of Filbert Street, allegedly targeted elderly women who were shopping by distracting them and taking purses from their shopping carts.
Butler was charged with several counts of larceny.
The investigating is still ongoing by the Garner Police Department.
State Issues Stop Sale Order On Everclear Motor Oil, Transmission Fluid
The N.C. Department of Agriculture has issued a stop-sale order for three types of Everclear brand motor oil after the products failed tests for viscosity standards. Viscosity refers to the thickness of the oil offered for sale, and its ability to protect against engine wear.
The order applies to bottles of Everclear 5W30, 10W30 and 10W40 motor oil. The products are distributed by Everclear Oil in Austintown, Ohio.
In addition to failing a viscosity test, the products are not labeled according to industry standards.
Everclear Automatic Transmission Fluid also was pulled from sale for failure to meet any recognized specifications.
“Only one of 96 samples of these products passed our inspection,” said Stephen Benjamin, director of the NCDA&CS Standards Division.
“We requested additional testing by Wear Check USA in Cary, and the results for both the oil and automatic transmission fluid showed that additives were either absent or not at the correct levels. This issue, along with the presence of wear metals, indicates these products are likely recycled in origin. Any of these results would put the products out of specification and cause them to be pulled from shelves.”
Retailers or distributors with this product in stock should return it to their suppliers. Inspectors with the NCDA&CS Standards Division have already held 175 cases of product at distribution centers located in Greensboro and Charlotte. Consumers who have bottles of this motor oil should return it to the place of purchase.
Everclear was notified of the problems, but has yet to respond to the Standards Division.
Scott Takes Oath Of Office
Smithfield resident Travis Scott was sworn in to the District 3 seat on the Smithfield Town Council during ceremonies Tuesday night at the Smithfield Town Hall.
Scott was given his oath by Johnston County Clerk of Court Will Crocker.
This is Scott’s first political office. WTSB Photo
Harris Sworn In For Another Term
Smithfield Town Councilman Perry Harris is sworn in for a new four year term on the Smithfield Town Council Tuesday night by Johnston County Clerk of Court Will Crocker.
Harris represents District 2.
Harris was accompanied by his family for the swearing in ceremony at the Smithfield Town Hall. WTSB Photo
Driver Injured In Clayton Crash
A Wendell woman was taken to WakeMed in Raleigh after her SUV ran off Covered Bridge Road near Clayton Wednesday afternoon and struck a group of trees.
Deloris Beasley Renfrow, 68, suffered non life-threatening injuries in the single vehicle accident.
Clayton Police Officer R. Freeman is still investigating the accident.
Along with Clayton Police, the Clayton Fire Department and Johnston County EMS responded to the scene. Photo courtesy JoCoFire.com
Driver Involved In Crash Charged With Insurance Fraud
NC Department of Insurance criminal investigators have charged a 47 year-old woman with insurance fraud.
Angela Denise Carter of Farm Road, Raleigh is accused of providing false and misleading information to National General Insurance Company after she allegedly used her vehicle to strike a male acquaintance on October 12 of this year. The acquaintance suffered a broken leg and filed a claim with her insurance company for reimbursement of medical expenses.
When contacted by her insurance company, Carter denied that her vehicle was involved in the accident.
Carter was arrested Wednesday and charged with insurance fraud.
Drug Suspect Charged With Sexually Exploiting Minor
New felony sex charges have been levied against an illegal immigrant and suspected drug trafficker who has been behind bars since mid-October.
Hector Fuentes Gonzalez, 54, of West Church Street, Angier, was arrested Oct. 17 on felony cocaine trafficking charges.
Thanks to an extensive investigation by local and federal agents, he has been implicated on charges of sexually exploiting a 13-year-old girl.
Harnett County Sheriff’s officials have formally charged the suspect with three felony counts of second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor and one felonious count of taking indecent liberties with a minor.
The subsequent sex charges tacked on Tuesday stem from an investigation that ensued following his arrest Oct. 17 inside the suspect’s residence.
Agents from the Harnett County Sheriff’s Office’s Narcotics Division, along with agents from Homeland Security and officials from the Angier Police Department, executed a search warranty at the West Church Street residence. An electronic device belonging to the suspect was seized during the execution. Reports indicate images captured on the device implicated the suspect.
Sheriff’s Detective Brad Byrd discovered nude images of an unknown female.
After an extensive investigation, Detective Byrd — a member of the national U.S. Department of Justice’s organization, Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force — discovered the girl was only 13 years of age.
It has since been determined that Gonzalez is an illegal immigrant. Story and photo courtesy The Daily Record
Evans Honored For Tireless Efforts; Uniting People
(Right) Outgoing Smithfield Mayor Daniel Evans and his wife, Vicki, attend a reception follow Tuesday night's Council meeting.
(Lower right) Benson Mayor William Massengill and Selma Mayor Cheryl Oliver were among 5 Johnston County mayors to attend Tuesday's ceremonies. (Bottom right) Emily Farnell with Congressman Mike McIntyre's office paid tribute to Evans. WTSB Photos
A capacity crowd gathered at the Smithfield Town Hall Tuesday night for swearing in ceremonies and the honoring of outgoing Mayor Dan Evans.
It was an emotional evening filled with laughter and touching moments.
Evans was praised for his tireless efforts and his ability to bring people together.
In attendance were Archer’s Lodge Mayor Mike Gordon, Benson Mayor William Massengill, Four Oaks Mayor Linwood Parker, Pine Level Mayor Jeff Holt, Princeton Mayor Don Rains and Selma Mayor Cheryl Oliver.
Council Member Andy Moore said in his 14 years on the board it was the first time this many area mayors came for a mayor's send off.
Mayor Pro-tem Emery Ashley led the tributes to Evans. He recalled how he and Evans attended high school together and had known each other since they were teenagers.
Evan’s proclamation said he “has devoted the majority of his time, energy, and talents to the growth and development of the Town of Smithfield, and has provided tremendous leadership and vision on its behalf with integrity, fairness, and careful deliberation.”
Evans was praised as “a champion for economic development and growth in the Town of Smithfield and was instrumental in the construction of the Smithfield Recreation and Aquatics Center and the Smithfield Crossings Project.”
The Town of Smithfield “has been fortunate to have had the services of Evans who has provided leadership and rendered good judgment for the betterment of all of the citizens of the Town.”
The proclamation also said “the Town of Smithfield, its employees and its citizens extend a sincere thank you to Wilbert Daniel Evans, Jr. for the countless hours he has dedicated to town governing with impartiality, and knowing that he will continue to be active in the community in many ways and in other endeavors.”
Emily Farnell, Constituent Services Assistant with Congressman Mike McIntyre’s office, said the 7th District Congressman paid tribute to Evans in Congress in September.
McIntyre’s comments were recorded in the Congressional Record.
On September 18th, McIntyre told House members that Evans had “dedicated himself wholly to bettering this great community.” He asked other members of Congress to join him in recognizing Evans “long and honorable career.”
McIntyre told Congress Evans “hard work and leadership have been vital to the continual development of Smithfield.
“As his time as Mayor of Smithfield comes to a close, let us honor Mayor Evans and pray that both he and his family may receive God's richest blessings upon them,” McIntyre said.
On behalf of Gov. Pat McCrory, Smithfield businessman and community leader Durwood Stephenson then presented Evans with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine.
The Order of the Long Leaf Pine is among the most prestigious awards presented by the Governor of North Carolina.
It is presented to individuals who have a proven record of extraordinary service to the state.
Contributions to their communities, extra effort in their careers, and many years of service to their organizations are some of the guidelines by which recipients are selected for this award.
Notable past recipients include: Dr. Billy Graham, Dale Earnhardt, Michael Jordan, Charles Kuralt and Andy Griffith.
Evans said it’d been a privilege to serve the people of Smithfield as mayor.
“When I was elected mayor, I felt it was important to bring government back to the community, Evans said.
Evans said he talked with people about their struggles. The former mayor said he and the council needed to know how what they did in the community directly affected people.
Although he will no longer be mayor, Evans said he would continue to work hard for the Town of Smithfield, which he loves.
Evans Praises Outgoing Council Members For Their Faithful Service
(Center) Outgoing Councilman Zach Crocker speaks with newly elected Mayor Pro Tem Andy Moore and Councilman Emery Ashley at a reception following Tuesday night's Smithfield Town Council meeting. WTSB Photo
Outgoing Mayor Daniel Evans said 60 years of service given to the Town of Smithfield was rotating off the Town Council.
Evans said there was no pledge or resolution, which could adequately say thanks to outgoing Council Members Zach Crocker, Vic Ogburn, Jr. and Charles E. Williams.
The betterment of the Smithfield community was a theme echoed throughout the evening. Evans said that was always at forefront of the minds of council members.
The outgoing Council Members received plaques and keys to the city.
Evans praised Crocker for his faithful service.
“Zach didn’t speak a lot,” Evans said. “But when he spoke, he spoke with conviction.”
In the Town’s proclamation, Crocker was credited with “excellent and constructive contributions for the betterment of the community” and Crocker was commended for his “sensitivity for doing what was best for the entire community.” Crocker had “courage in expressing his convictions and a special way of dealing with complex issues.”
In characteristic fashion, Crocker briefly commented, expressing gratitude for the opportunity to serve.
Evans said Ogburn has a heart for Smithfield like no other. He praised Ogburn’s appreciation for history and his support of the Hastings House and the Public Library.
The Town’s proclamation recognized Ogburn’s 20 years of service on the board. Ogburn served as Mayor Pro-tem from 2009 to 2011.
The proclamation said Ogburn “devoted his time, energy and talents to the Town of Smithfield and provided experience and sound judgment and ardent support while serving on various committees.”
Ogburn “has been instrumental in preserving the integrity and historical value of the Town of Smithfield by ensuring that historical markers; such as, the Hasting House and Bingham House remain in the Downtown area.”
Ogburn has also served “to improve the quality for life for generations to come by supporting Parks and Recreation, Public Safety and Community Development.”
In addition to the resolution plaque and a key to the city, Ogburn was also presented with a print of the Hastings House.
Ogburn said it was an honor to serve and praised two major influences in his life, his father, the late J. Victor Ogburn, Sr. and former Smithfield-Selma High School principal A.G. Glenn.
Evans said Williams had served East Smithfield for 24 years and that the council had come to depend upon his wisdom.
In the Town’s proclamation, Williams was credited for “devoting his time and interests to matters affecting East Smithfield.”
Through the performance of his duties “Williams “has made excellent and constructive contributions to municipal government in the Town of Smithfield.”
The proclamation went on to say that “Williams demonstrated his sensitivity for doing what is best for the entire community, for understanding and promoting diversity, and for courage in expressing his convictions without regard to public favor.”
“We’ve not always agreed,” Evans said. “But we’ve worked for the best interests of the Town of Smithfield.”
Williams said he hoped some of the things he’d done had made life better for the citizens of Smithfield.
In addition to his proclamation plaque and key to the city, Williams was also presented with an original painting of the old Johnston Central High School. This painting was done by Mrs. Lola Williford from Princeton.
Lampe, Council Members Sworn In
(Right) Mayor John Lampe takes his oath from Clerk of Court Will Crocker, as town attorney Bob Spence looks on. (Center) Marion Lee takes his oath from Judge Addie Rawls. (Bottom) Judge Tom Lock gives the oath to Councilman Roger Wood. WTSB Photos
Mayor-Elect John Lampe and three new council members were sworn in at Tuesday’s Smithfield Town Council meeting.
The Oath of Office was administered to Lampe by Johnston County Clerk of Court Will Crocker.
Crocker also administered the oaths of office to incumbent District 2 Council Member Perry Harris and new District 3 Council Member Travis Scott.
Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Tom Lock administered the Oath of Office to new District 4 Council Member Roger Wood.
District Court Judge Addie Rawls administered the Oath of Office to new District 1 Council Member Marion Lee.
Neither the new mayor nor council members made any remarks after their swearing in ceremonies.
There was little business on the agenda for the new mayor and town council. Council Member Andy Moore was elected Mayor pro-tem.
Moore was nominated by outgoing Mayor pro-tem Emery Ashley and seconded by Council Member Perry Harris. The vote was unanimous.
Council then approved the 2014 Town Council meeting calendar.
The next item on the agenda was the Mayor’s Report. Lampe joked that since he’d only been mayor for three minutes, he had no report.
After the meeting, a reception followed in the Fire Station’s Training Room.
State DOT Offers Transit Service to Ease I-40/440 Congestion
The state Department of Transportation is offering Johnston County $9.7 million in transit services to ease congestion created by the I-40/I-440 Rebuilding project.
Bus services will be offered starting this month for a three-year period.
Deputy Secretary for Transit Richard Walls (pictured) said Triangle Transit Authority and Capital Area Transportation hope to pick up passengers bound for downtown Raleigh at the Wal-Mart Super Center parking lot at Cleveland Crossroads at NC 42 and I-40.
A deal with Wal-Mart’s property owners hasn’t been finalized but Wall said he was confident things would work out.
Buses will depart every half-hour weekdays from 6am to 9 am and from 3pm to 6pm. There won’t be any weekend service.
Walls said passengers can ride free for the first month as part of a “Try It Before You Buy It” promotion.
After the first month, riders will pay $2.50 one way. Single Ride or $4 Regional Day passes can be purchased on the buses.
To ease congestion, Division 5 Engineer Wally Bowman said the DOT will expand its Bus On Shoulder System (BOSS) from I-40 in Raleigh to N.C. 42 in Johnston County.
Bowman said that when interstate traffic is moving at speeds below 35 miles per hour, BOSS gives public transportation drivers the option to travel at low speeds on designated route shoulders.
Buses driven on the shoulders can only travel 15 mph faster than traffic with a maximum speed of 35mph. The 36-seat passenger buses will offer free Wi-Fi Internet access.
The I-40/440 Rebuilding Project, dubbed “Fortify,” is scheduled for completion September 2016.
Commissioner Ted Godwin said it was great to see the state realizes the impact this project will have on Johnston County and that they are trying to do something about it. WTSB Photo
Criminals Who Make Meth Banned From Drug’s Main Ingredient
(Right) SBI agents inventory meth lab components seized near Clayton in 2010. WTSB File Photo
Criminals who make meth are now banned from having the drug’s main ingredient and will serve more time behind bars if their illegal drug labs endanger children, seniors, or the disabled, Attorney General Roy Cooper said Monday.
“Meth labs and the highly-addictive drug they produce don’t belong in our communities, and this new law gives us more tools in the fight against meth,” Mr. Cooper said.
A law that took effect December 1st makes it a felony for any convicted meth cook or user to possess products containing pseudoephedrine, found in some cold medicines and the key ingredient needed to make the highly addictive illegal drug methamphetamine. Meth cooks also face stiffer sentences under the new law if they make meth around children, seniors or the disabled.
The new law is expected to help agents with the State Bureau of Investigation, which responds to all meth labs found in North Carolina, fight a rising tide of dangerous illegal drug labs. Agents can use the law to target meth cooks and those who supply meth labs with pseudoephedrine, sometimes called smurfs.
Meth labs have surged in North Carolina and nationwide as a simpler method for making small amounts of the drug spreads statewide. Law enforcement has discovered more than 500 meth labs in North Carolina so far in 2013, beating last year’s record of 460 labs.
Approximately 85 percent of the meth labs busted in the state this year used the “one-pot” method, which uses a small amount of pseudoephedrine to cook meth in a plastic soda bottle. The new law makes it illegal for a convicted meth cook or user to have any pseudoephedrine, even the small amount needed for a one-pot lab.
When SBI agents respond to meth labs, they often find children, senior citizens, or disabled people living in the home where the drug is being made. Under the new law, anyone convicted of manufacturing meth around a child, senior or person with disabilities will see an additional 24 months added to their sentence.
“Even a small meth lab can give off toxic fumes, cause fires, or explode,” Mr. Cooper said. “Meth labs are especially dangerous to kids and other vulnerable people, and they deserve the extra protection included in the new law.”
In 2013, 91 children and seniors have been found living around meth labs. When a vulnerable person is removed from a meth lab home, their clothing and other belongings usually have to be destroyed because of the hazardous fumes given off during the cooking process.
Bad Check Leads To Pursuit, Attic Search And Arrest
A Raleigh man is behind bars after police say he tried pass a fraudulent check at local supermarket, led police on a short car chase, jumped out, ran into a home and was found hiding in the attic.
It all happened on Monday, when Clayton Police were called to the Compare Foods on East Second Street in Downtown Clayton for a man trying to use a fraudulent check. When officers arrived, the suspect fled in a vehicle.
Police followed him for a few minutes when the man hit a curb at the intersection of John and Holding Streets and fled on foot. Officers chased him into a home in the 500 block of Holding Street where they found him hiding in the attic and arrested him.
21-year-old Marcus Terrell Walton, of 1304 Garner Road in Raleigh, had four outstanding warrants for his arrest out of Wake County.
He was charged with felony speeding to elude arrest and resisting an officer. He was served with warrants for attempting to obtain property by false pretenses, breaking and entering, driving on a revoked license, probation violation, and simple assault.
Walton was booked into the Johnston County Jail under a $195,000 bond.
Two Armed Men Rob Benson Restaurant
The investigation surrounding a late-November armed robbery at a restaurant in Benson remains ongoing.
According to Benson Police, officers arrived at China Eight along the 700 block of East Parrish Drive around 11pm on Saturday, November 23rd.
Owner He Song Liu told police that five minutes prior he heard a loud bang at the back door to his business. He then saw two men wearing “dark clothing and ski masks” enter China Eight through the front door.
Both men were armed with “long guns” and pointed them at Mr. Liu, telling him, “Hey, white guy. Come on, get down.”
The report states that one of the men picked up the cash register and attempted to leave with it, but tripped and fell. Both men left the restaurant with $120 and were last seen on foot.
This week, Benson Police Chief Kenneth Edwards said that a suspicious vehicle was seen parked near the business during the incident.
“We have a witness statement about an older model green car, possibly a Ford Taurus, with NC plates. It was there before this happened and it was seen leaving the area,” he explained.
Although the witness descriptions were vague, Chief Edwards said both men were white. One was possibly in his mid-20s, around 6 feet tall and approximately 160 pounds. He also had a “thin mustache.” The second suspect was described as around 200 pounds, but further description was not given due to the ski mask.
“This is an open investigation,” added Chief Edwards. Anyone with information about the robbery is asked to contact the Benson Police Department. Story and photo courtesy The Daily Record
Fire At Former Country Store Ruled Arson
A fire that damaged a former country store has been ruled arson.
A passing motorist dialed 911 reporting the fire at 8:36pm Saturday on Church Road near Highway 50 in the McGee’s Crossroads community.
Johnston County Fire Marshal Paul Whitehurst said materials left inside the abandoned building, along with an ignitable liquid, were used to start fires in at least 3 different locations inside the structure.
The fire was quickly extinguished.
Anyone who has information about the arson is asked to contact the Johnston County Fire Marshal at 919-989-5050 or the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office at 919-989-5010.
Teen Charged With Sending Sexually Related Texts To Minor
A Johnston County teenager has been arrested after he allegedly texted sexually related photos to a 15 year-old girl.
The incident had been under investigation by the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office since October 29.
Joshua Blair Kearns, 18, of Allie Drive, Garner was charged Monday with one felony count of disseminating material/performing a harmful act on a minor, and one misdemeanor count of cyber stalking.
Kearns is also accused of sending a threatening text message to the same juvenile victim.
Kearns was given a $10,000 bond on the two criminal charges.
Homeless Man Charged In Thanksgiving Day Break-In
A homeless man was arrested Thanksgiving Day after Smithfield Police were called to a break-in at a building on East Edgerton Street.
Officers responded to the 4:20pm break-in call and arrested William Keith Wade, 46, on charges of breaking and entering and larceny.
Wade was booked into the Johnston County Jail under a $5,000 bond pending a December 17 court date.
Car Overturns In Ditch
Smithfield Police are investigating a single car crash Tuesday night on Lee Street.
An officer on patrol discovered a car overturned in a ditch near the railroad crossing.
Fire and EMS workers responded to the scene, but it was determined no one was inside the overturned car.
A wrecker company removed the vehicle from the scene.
Commissioners Re-Elect Chairman, Vice Chairman
On Monday, the Johnston County Board of Commissioners voted by acclamation to re-elect Jeff Carver as chairman and Tony Braswell as vice-chairman.
This is the second one-year term for both commissioners.
Carver said he was gratified by the board’s confidence.
Braswell was absent due to illness. WTSB Photo
Gunman Robs Smithfield Business
Smithfield Police are searching for a gunman who robbed a local business Friday night.
Around 11:48pm, police said a man armed with a small black handgun entered Murphy Express at 1230 North Brightleaf Boulevard. At gunpoint, the suspect demanded the clerk hand over cash. The suspect then fled with an undisclosed amount of money, according to Police Lt. R.K. Powell.
The suspect was described as a black male, 25-30 years of age, approximately 5 foot 7, 160 pounds. He was wearing a blue hooded sweatshirt.
Anyone with information about the armed robbery of the Murphy Express is asked to contact the Smithfield Police Department at 919-934-2121 or the Smithfield Police Tip Line at 919-989-8835. Callers with information can remain anonymous.
Spending Up 3.6% For Small Business Saturday
In spite of a shorter shopping season and challenging economic environment, Small Business Saturday helped jump start the holiday shopping season for small businesses across the country.
According to the 2013 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey, by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and American Express, consumer awareness of Small Business Saturday across the U.S. jumped to 71 percent from 67 percent during the same period a year ago. Of those aware, 46% said they shopped on Small Business Saturday.
With awareness up, the end result was increased spending at small businesses. This year, consumers who were aware of Small Business Saturday reported spending $5.7 billion with independent merchants on the day, an increase of 3.6% from a strong $5.5 billion in 2012.
“In an uncertain economy, America’s small businesses have remained a beacon — creating good jobs and supporting the families they employ and the communities around them,” said NFIB CEO Dan Danner. “We are very pleased that so many Americans sought to give back by shopping small this Small Business Saturday. We hope that support of small firms, retailers, restaurants and other independent businesses continues throughout the holiday season and all year round. Continued support of this vital sector is one important way to ensure our economy fully recovers and a healthy private sector is restored.”
“In just four years, the nation has adopted Small Business Saturday and made it part of the holiday shopping tradition,” said Susan Sobbott, president of American Express OPEN. “On November 30, we saw a continuation of this growing trend as communities around the country came together to celebrate local businesses and helped drive consumers to Shop Small on the day.”
November 30 marked the fourth annual Small Business Saturday, a day to support the local businesses that create jobs, boost the economy and preserve neighborhoods around the country. Small Business Saturday was created in 2010 in response to small business owners’ most pressing need: more customers. Since its inception, Small Business Saturday has been become a global phenomenon, spreading to the UK, Australia, Israel, Canada, South Africa and Asia.
Clayton Police Arrest Teen In Car Break-Ins
The Clayton Police Department has arrested a 17-year-old after a series of car break-ins in Clayton. The break-ins happened on two separate weekends in early November on Whitiker Street and North Church Street. The teen was able to steal credit cards from some of the cars and then used them to make fraudulent purchases. One car was locked, the other was not.
Raekwon Jamal Oliver is behind bars in the Johnston County Jail under a $160,000 secured bond. Oliver is charged with two counts of breaking and entering a motor vehicle, two counts of larceny, two counts of identity theft, and two counts of obtaining property by false pretenses.
No matter what the time of day or year, but especially during the holidays, the Clayton Police Department urges everyone to lock your cars even in front of your homes. And do not leave valuables, money or credit cards in your car.
Suspicious Fire Destroys Abandoned Home
The Johnston County Fire Marshal’s Office is treating a fire at an abandoned house over the Thanksgiving weekend as suspicious in nature.
Around 3:56pm Saturday, an abandoned house at the intersection of Swift Creek Road and Cleveland Road went up in flames. The house, previously used to store hay, was owned by Ira Ogburn of Smithfield.
Fire Marshal Paul Whitehurst said vagrants were seen in the house days before the fire. Officials don’t know if a person attempting to keep warm may have accidentally sparked the fire. There was no electricity connected to the home.
Vandals Damage Community Park
Smithfield Police are looking for vandals who caused damage at Smithfield Community Park on Booker Dairy Road. The vandalism was discovered last Wednesday.
Officials said someone entered a bathroom damaged a toilet then set a trash can on fire.
Damage was estimated at $250.
Woman Charged With Misusing 911
Deputies arrested a Four Oaks woman early-Tuesday for allegedly misusing the 911 system.
Brittany Kay Steigelman, 21, of Go Cart Road, was arrested the third time after she reportedly dialed 911 and the second time a Johnston County deputy went to her address.
Officials allege Steigelman called 911 the first time claiming there was a disturbance at her home then said there wasn’t. She allegedly called a second time claiming her boyfriend would not listen to her. She also reportedly called 911 a third time alleging her boyfriend was secretly recording her conversations.
Steigelman was confined in the Johnston County Jail under a $2,500 bond. Officials noted she was “highly impaired” at the time of her arrest.
Faulty HVAC Motor Blamed For Fire Scare At Corinth Elementary School
Students at Corinth Holders Elementary School were evacuated from their classrooms Monday morning after a teacher noticed smoke and pulled a fire alarm.
Uncertain as to the cause, fire departments from Johnston and Wake counties rushed to the school and quickly determined a motor in an HVAC unit on the roof had malfunctioned and has spread smoke through the ventilation system.
Due to the amount of smoke in the K-3 wing of the school, those students were relocated to the cafeteria for the remainder of the school day.
School maintenance personnel began deodorizing that section of the building so students can return to their classrooms on Tuesday.
No injuries were reported. Students and faculty were allowed back into the school building a short time after the incident began.
Fire Displaces Smithfield Family
The Johnston County Chapter of the American Red Cross is assisting a Smithfield family after a Thanksgiving Weekend house fire left three people displaced from their home.
The blaze broke out Saturday night at a residence at 2149 Barbour Road.
Laverne Scarboro, her husband, and daughter escaped from the burning home injured.
Johnston County Fire Marshal Paul Whitehurst said the blaze started on a porch in the vicinity of a power meter base and electrical panel. Whitehurst said the exact cause could not be determined because of the damage in that area.
Damage was estimated at $25,000 to the home owned by Annie Rose Johnson of Smithfield. Photo courtesy JoCoFire.com
Driver Escapes Burning Car
One person was injured in a single vehicle accident Thanksgiving afternoon on Bizzell Grove Church Road near Micro.
The Micro Fire Department arrived to find the car overturned and on fire. Luckily, the driver had gotten out of the vehicle.
The vehicle had to be uprighted to fully extinguish the blaze. The driver was taken to WakeMed by Johnston County EMS.
The crash was investigated by the NC Highway Patrol. Photo courtesy JoCoFire.com
Car Overturns In Field Near Clayton
The driver of this vehicle walked away from this serious crash on Little Creek Church Road near Pony Farm Road Friday night.
The vehicle reportedly flipped end over end into a large field near the intersection.
The driver declined transport to the hospital for treatment.
The Highway Patrol, Clayton Fire Department, and Johnston County EMS responded to the single car accident. Photo courtesy JoCoFire.com
Kuszmaul Completes Basic Training
Air Force Airman Benton H. Kuszmaul 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.
Kuszmaul is the son of Craig and Becky Kuszmaul of Smithfield.
He is a 2003 graduate of Smithfield Selma High School. He earned a bachelor's degree in 2008 from Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, Kentucky.
NC FFA Receives Major Grant From Tobacco Trust Fund Commission
The North Carolina Tobacco Trust Fund Commission has awarded $180,000 to the North Carolina FFA Foundation to improve high school agricultural education programs throughout the state.
The Agricultural Education Program Improvement Grant, which receives exclusive support from the Tobacco Trust Fund Commission, aims to provide much-needed resources to local agricultural education programs and FFA chapters in high schools.
“This grant will enable our teachers to invest resources in a number of critical areas, from equipment and facilities to new course development,” said state agricultural education leader Gerald Barlowe. “We are extremely grateful to the Tobacco Trust Fund Commission for sharing our vision and making possible tremendous opportunities for students throughout the state.”
The North Carolina FFA Foundation, housed in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at N.C. State University, will distribute the gift in at least 32 grants up to $5,000 each. Remaining funds will be used to administer the grant. Any high school in North Carolina with an agricultural education program is eligible to apply. Visit http://www.ncffa.org for details. Award winners will be announced in January 2014.
“We’re excited to be a partner with the FFA,” said William Upchurch, executive director of the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission. “This is a great opportunity for students and teachers to feature innovative and creative projects designed to strengthen agricultural education. These students represent the future of agriculture in North Carolina.”
The North Carolina FFA is a youth organization of more than 20,000 student members preparing for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture, with nearly 250 local chapters across the state. FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. Visit http://www.ncffa.org for more information.
The General Assembly created the N.C. 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 state appropriation of monies paid by cigarette manufacturers under the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement to the state. Since 2002, the Tobacco Trust Fund Commission has awarded grants to public and nonprofit agencies that meet the goals of strengthening the tobacco-dependent and agricultural economies of North Carolina. For more information, visit http://www.tobaccotrustfund.org.
Suspect Charged In Food Lion Robbery
A Cameron man has been arrested and charged in a Harnett County robbery case.
Lavar Edward Townes, 33, was charged with common law robbery and simple physical assault.
Townes is charged in a robbery at Food Lion located on N.C. 87 in western Harnett County.
The suspect was identified by a victim in the case.
Townes was also charged with assault on a female in the same case.
He is being held in the Harnett County Jail on a $30,000 secured bond. Story and photo courtesy The Daily Record
Cocaine Found In Shoe Of Man Fleeing From Deputies
Johnston County deputies believe they know why a passenger in a car jumped and ran from a license checkpoint last week on Highway 231.
Carmen Bueno, 26, of Scouters Road, Wendell was arrested following a brief foot chase.
According to officials, Bueno was wanted at the time for probation violation warrants. And during a search, 3.5 grams of suspected crack cocaine was found in his shoe.
Bueno was jailed under an $80,000 bond.
He was charged with felony possession of cocaine, possession with intent to sell or deliver cocaine, resisting a public officer, and felony probation violation.
Driver Who Nearly Struck Patrol Car Arrested For DWI
A Benson resident was arrested on drunk driving charges following a traffic stop Friday night on Highway 50 just north of Benson.
A Johnston County deputy on routine patrol said he allegedly met a car in a curve. The approaching vehicle was reportedly clocked speeding 72mph and also crossed the centerline nearly striking the officers patrol car.
The deputy turned around on the vehicle and during the traffic stop arrested the driver, Edgar Nazario Perez, 22, of Amy Lane.
Perez registered 0.14 on the Breathalyzer, according to Tammy Amaon, Public Information Officer with the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office. Perez was given a $1,000 bond.
$15,600 In Items Reported Stolen In Break-In
The Johnston County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a break-in where more than $15,000 in property was taken, including an estimated $4,000 in Indian artifacts.
The break-in happened sometime between November 25 and November 29 at a home in the 3700 block of US70 Business East of Smithfield.
The 44 year-old victim said he was in the process of moving to Four Oaks when the break-in occurred.
Other items taken included electronics, porcelain dolls, and two truck camper shells.
One Person Hurt In Thanksgiving Fire
A McGee’s Crossroads resident was injured in a mobile home fire Thanksgiving night. It happened on Church Road.
The resident told fire crews the blaze began in a bathroom and quickly spread into the adjacent bedroom and ceiling.
The man was transported to WakeMed in Raleigh for treatment.
The 50-210, Cleveland and West Johnston Fire Departments responded and quickly contained the blaze. The fire appears to be accidental in nature. Photo courtesy JoCoFire.com
Clayton Police Seek Two Men In Series Of Break-Ins
Imagine if just before the holidays, your TV, laptop, jewelry, even musical instruments were stolen right from your home.
That’s what happened to five families in Clayton over the past month and now police need your help arresting the two suspects in this series of home break-ins.
19-year-old Kweisi Saku McDougal Garland (top right) of Mitchell Avenue in Clayton and 34-year-old Lawrence Gregory Hunter (lower right) of East Hinton Street in Clayton are both wanted in the series of break-ins at the following addresses where televisions, laptops, video game systems, jewelry, musical instruments and other valuables were stolen:
Garland faces one charge of felony breaking and entering, one charge of felony larceny, and one county of obtaining property by false pretenses.
Hunter is facing four counts of felony breaking and entering, 4 counts of felony larceny, and one count of obtaining property by false pretenses.
If you have information on the whereabouts of these two men, or you have any information that would help police find them, please call Clayton CrimeStoppers at 919-359-TIPZ (8479) or Detective Jason Linder at 919-553-4611.
Chamber Partners Tout East Market Street Landscaping
Shown in the picture are: Kevin Dougherty, Chris Key, Rick Childrey, Rose House, Dwight Morris, Dennis Littleton, Shawn Banks, Cheryl Oliver, Lenny Branch, Sherry Pinny-Phillips, Bob Worsham, Tina Lee and DeWayne Lee.
The Appearance Committee of the Smithfield-Selma Chamber of Commerce recently noted the landscaping work that has been completed along East Market Street in Smithfield. The Chamber, along with several financial partners, raised over $60,000 to install shrubbery beds with crepe myrtles, clean the CSX Railroad Underpass and remove unsightly concrete walls along a stretch of the highway between College Road and Bright Leaf Boulevard.
Working along with the Chamber have been the Town of Smithfield, Downtown Smithfield Development Corporation and the Smithfield Appearance Commission. In addition to these organizations, other financial partners have included CSX Railroad, First Citizens Bank, Heavner’s Furniture Market and an anonymous contributor.
The project is part of the Chamber’s community vision plan, which addresses entranceways into Smithfield and Selma. The Appearance Committee has already started work on a similar project at Exit 97 on Interstate 95 in Selma.