ONLINE JANUARY 10, 2019
LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN ACTION
A foreword from Wingate Lassiter, editor and
As I stated in the beginning, a primary focus of this
publication is local government: what your elected
representatives are deciding or considering, and how
your tax dollars are being spent. Because of the New
Year's holiday, all three local boards we are closely
following held their monthly meetings this past week. On
separate pages are my reports from attending those
County Board of Commissioners met Monday
County Board of Education met Tuesday
Smithfield Town Council met
rendering of Blue Line Aviation's headquarters-to-be
at Johnston Regional Airport northwest of
Airport to host aviator training center
Blue Line Aviation, a flight school for both private and
commercial pilots, plans to move its operations from
Raleigh-Durham International Airport to Johnston
Regional Airport. The company says it will employ 50
persons and invest $13 million in its new home here.
Johnston's County Commissioners on Monday approved a
$100,000 incentive grant for the project. Those funds
will be released upon fulfillment by Blue Line of an
agreement with the county to follow through with its
plans. Chris Johnson, the county's economic development
director, said construction should start this spring
with completion coming sometime next year.
MORE in a news release issued by the county...
Property revaluations up 24% since 2011
The Johnston County Tax Office reports that real-estate
valuations countywide are 24 percent higher than the
total from the last revaluation done in 2011. In
contrast, the increase from 2003 to 2011 was just over
14 percent. For this year's revaluation, Smithfield
Township is seeing a 16.6-percent increase over its
total eight years ago. Clayton Township, meanwhile, is
showing an increase of 32.7 percent. More information
about the current revaluation process can be found via
this link to the County
Board of Commissioners monthly meeting report.
Youth Basketball: In the beginning . . .
Saturday, January 5 was opening day for this year's
youth basketball program put together by the Town
of Smithfield's Parks and Recreation Department. In the
photo above, taken from the balcony at the Recreation
and Aquatics Center, players compete in the 6U league
(for ages 6 and younger). Their coaches are allowed on
the court during play to instruct these youngsters, many
of whom are playing their first game of organized
"B-ball." Thanks to Jon Moore, the program's
coordinator, we'll be receiving weekly reports about the
this link to our SPORTS PAGE for those reports plus
DEATHS & FUNERALS
Each week we'll post links to obituaries about persons
who have died during the past week. We will monitor the
websites of local funeral homes to compile our list, and
we welcome links provided by readers to obituaries of
persons with Smithfield connections who have died
outside our immediate area.
MORTON (M.T.) TEW BAGGETT -
died January 9
ROBERT (BOB) KENTON CREECH -
died January 8
DONALD RAY BELCHER - died
LAWRENCE THEODORE ENGLEHART, JR. -
died January 5
TAMIKA ANITA SANDERS - died January 4
WILLIAM JERRY HOLLOMAN -
died January 3
|JOHNSTON HEALTH COLLECTING
CANNED FOOD FOR THE NEEDY
The Nurse Practice Council at Johnston Health
has launched a year-round canned-food drive to
assist patients and to help replenish food
pantries in the community.
Collection barrels are at entrances to the
hospital and Johnston Medical Mall as well as
the SECU Hospice House in Smithfield. Smaller
collection bins are in all of the nursing units.
The food items will be collected weekly and
taken monthly to local food pantries. It will
also be available to patients in need.
us at Johnston Health truly care about our
patients and the health of our communities,”
said Christy Collins, the nurse manager who
heads the council. “This is a way we can make a
In the photo: Ricky
a mechanic in the engineering department, was
among the first to contribute to the cause.
He’s joined by Cynthia Ray, a hospital CNA who
is supporting the project.
& photo provided by Johnston Health
2018: how rainy was it?
While our neighbors to the west received record-high
rainfall this past year, Smithfield had a fairly normal
year with 51.93 inches recorded by the National Weather
Service here in 2018. That's not a huge variance from
our historical average of 47.76 inches.
The weather station at the Raleigh-Durham Airport,
meanwhile, set a record with 60.16 inches for 2018.
While we didn't get that much here, the recent
high-water levels of the Neuse River at Smithfield show
us that a lot of rain has fallen upstream in recent
weeks and months.
How much snow in 2018? We had two measurable snowfalls last
January, but the total recorded for that month was
just 3.11 inches. That was it for the year.
To reach the source of Smithfield weather statistics, follow this link.
To track the rise and fall of the Neuse River at
Smithfield, go here.
THAT'S THE WAY IT WAS
This photograph of the frozen Neuse River, viewed
downstream from Smithfield's Market Street bridge, was
taken during the winter of either 1926 or 1927,
according to the late Dr. Watson Wharton, who donated
the picture years ago to the Public Library's historical
collections that grew into today's Johnston
County Heritage Center.
For more information about our community,
visit our "online newspaper parent" via the link shown
above. This website is a handy "portal" to important
sources of current information about Smithfield and