PUBLISHED ONLINE JANUARY 10, 2019


LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN ACTION   


A foreword from Wingate Lassiter, editor and publisher:
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 sessions:

Johnston County Board of Commissioners met Monday
READ MORE...

Johnston County Board of Education met Tuesday
READ MORE...

Smithfield Town Council met Tuesday night
READ MORE...



Architect's rendering of Blue Line Aviation's headquarters-to-be
at Johnston Regional Airport northwest of Smithfield.


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.

READ 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 games.

Follow this link to our SPORTS PAGE for those reports plus high-school updates....




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 January 6


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.
“All of 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 difference.”

In the photo:
Ricky Price, 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.
story & 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.



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