ONLINE FEBRUARY 28, 2019
and photos by Wingate
Lassiter unless otherwise noted
This month's sponsors: John H. Scovil &
Associates; 7th Street Marketplace (Stancil Oil
Co.); Carroll Pharmacy; Pernell, Inc.; W. Landis Bullock; Realtor
MIDDLE WINS "BATTLE OF THE BOOKS"
School's Knights were winners of
the Johnston County Public Schools' annual Battle of
the Books competition among teams from 12 of the
county's middle schools. Each team read a total of
27 novels and answered questions testing their
knowledge of what they had read. Members of the
winning team: (left to right) in front --- Jude
Reece, Kevin Chen, Silvia Franco, Britney Arana
Alberto, Yuridia Hernandez Martinez, Jessica
Antonio-Juarez; in back --- Coach Allison Beadle,
Stefani Robeson, Allana Massey, Catherine Cepin,
Iyana Sanders, Coach Stephanie Worley. The team will
enter regional competition April 12.
Johnston County Public
Town of Smithfield has financing in sight
for Hurricane Matthew demolitions
The Smithfield Town Council last
Thursday evening authorized Town Manager Mike Scott to
apply for a zero-interest loan from the State of North
Carolina to pay for acquisition and demolition of seven
houses and elevation of an eighth inundated by Hurricane
Matthew's floodwaters in 2016.
now-vacant residence at 115 Riverside Drive,
pictured at the height of Matthew's flood on
Oct. 10, 2016, is one of seven in Smithfield
slated for demolition.
Mr. Scott said the town will be reimbursed for the
estimated expenditure of almost $2.1 million, but the
state's loan would make it simpler to come up with the
cash to pay contractors as soon as their work is done.
He told the council he's hopeful the work can be
completed by June 30, the end of the town's fiscal year.
Four of the houses to be demolished are located on
Highway 210 near Swift Creek: those owned by Bill Davis
at 665 NC 210, Russell and Karen Perrington at 739 NC
210, Adolfo Rodriguez at 808 NC 210, and Ricky and Lois
Creech at 845 NC 210. The other three are residences of
Timothy Hughes at 115 Riverside Drive, Eleanor Medlin at
307 Woodall Street, and the late Leonard Woodall at 308
Rosewood Drive. Fred Lempe's house at 211 Brookshire
Drive will be elevated.
The town will hold title to the demolition sites after
the buy-outs. Council members asked if any of them could
be used for parks or "green space," perhaps soccer
fields and the like. The town manager said staff looked
into those possibilities but encountered objections from
nearby property owners.
The eight projects have been approved by the Federal
Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), with 75 percent of
the cost covered by federal disaster funds and 25
percent by the state.
Hurricane Matthew's flooding at Smithfield set an
all-time record, cresting just over 29 feet deep at the
gauging station below the Market Street bridge.
MORE from last week's Town Council session>
Street Marketplace & The Chicken Barn
Market Street (US
70 Business) at 7th Street, Downtown Smithfield
LOCAL GOVERNMENT AGENDAS
Board of Commissioners
10 a.m. & 6 p.m. Monday, March 4
Johnston County Courthouse, 207 E. Market Street,
• At the morning session, the
board will consider a new policy on rental of the Johnston
County Agricultural Center's auditorium, limiting
its use to "public purpose activities by schools, public
service organizations, volunteer groups, non-profit and
civic organizations, chambers of commerce, and county
agricultural and economic development partners" while
excluding "private social functions such as weddings or
parties" as well as "for-profit commercial or business
• At the evening session the board will get a briefing
on grant funds available for placement of "resource
officers" at Johnston's middle schools and a
request for additional funds that may be needed beyond
any grants received.
• Also during the evening session, the board will hold
public hearings on three business-zoning requests
involving small tracts of land in Pleasant Grove,
Clayton, and Banner townships. The County Planning Board
is recommending approval of all three requests.
View the full agendas for both
Smithfield Town Council
7 p.m. Tuesday, March 5
Town Hall, 350 E. Market Street, Smithfield
Among items on the agenda:
• Receipt of the town's audit report for fiscal
• A request from the Police Department, responding to
"numerous citizens over the years," for new rules to
prohibit animals from being tethered as a means of
confinement and to require shelter for dogs and
similar-sized animals that are kept outdoors.
• Public hearings on three items: (1) permanent
closing of one block of Meadowbrook Drive between First
and Vermont streets that was never built; (2) a request
to remove a 35-maximum employee limit on "light
manufacturing activities" within certain business and
industrial districts; and (3) a request for a
special-use permit to operate a U-Haul rental facility
at 1343 West Market Street.
• An update to the 10-Year Capital Improvement Plan
for Public Utilities including projected
expenditures for the town's electrical, water, and sewer
the full agenda with supporting documents>
The Jewel Box is in its 73rd year
as a family business in
Booker Dairy Road one way this weekend
The N.C. Department of Transportation will close the
westbound lane of Booker Dairy Road this Saturday and
Sunday (March 2-3) to facilitate construction of
additional lanes. As a result,
to access Booker Dairy Road motorists will need to enter
from Buffalo Road and exit via Bright Leaf Boulevard (US
301). The closing was initially scheduled this past
weekend but postponed because of rainy weather.
Here's a road in need of "rehabilitation"
THE EDITOR'S POINT OF VIEW: Outlet Center Drive's
meandering course to reach East Market Street ought to
be erased and a more sensible layout constructed.
School employees with "heart" honored
Johnston County Public Schools
honored 50 of its employees for "going above and beyond"
at the annual "Leading with the Heart" reception held
last week. Inspired by Mike Krzyewski's book Leading
with the Heart, the event
recognizes employees who demonstrate leadership,
compassion, and "heart" in their work.
Each school selected one employee to be honored,
including: Cali Durning, South Smithfield
Elementary; Emily Rose, West Smithfield
Elementary; William Overby, Wilson's Mills
Elementary; Destiny Fulwood, Smithfield Middle;
Susan Hales, Smithfield-Selma High; and Elizabeth
Ham, Innovation Academy at South Campus.
For the complete list with a photo,
follow this link>
Eight more schools join "Share Table"
Introduced at West Smithfield
Elementary School in December, the "Share Table" program
--- which provides leftover, untouched food to needy
students who may be hungry after breakfast and lunch
meals at school --- has been expanded to eight more
schools, including South Smithfield Elementary and
Wilson's Mills Elementary.
READ MORE about it here>
Tickets on sale for "Showcase of Stars"
Advance tickets to the Johnston
County Education Foundation's annual "Showcase of Stars"
fund-raiser featuring performances by students from the
county's public schools are on sale till 6 p.m. today
(Thursday) and from 9 a.m. till noon Friday (March 1) at
Grace Community Church, 923 E. Booker Dairy Road near
Smithfield-Selma High (SSS) where the event will be
This year's Showcase will be held on Saturday, March
9 at SSS since the auditorium at Johnston
Community College is closed for renovations. After this
week, tickets will be on sale at the SSS auditorium one
hour prior to each show, if seats are available. The
ticket price is $15 per show.
To view the full schedule of
performances, follow this link>
Basketball done for high-school teams
Conference tournaments are finished, and only the Neuse
Charter girls made the state playoffs but lost their
opening-round game. Roundup on SPORTS
Highway 70 West Business,
Community College issues Dean's List
Johnston Community College has released its Dean's List
of high-performing students for the spring semester. To
make the list, a student must complete at least nine
credit hours in a semester (excluding "developmental"
courses) and achieve a Grade Point Average of at least
Smithfield residents making the list: Jordan D.
Alt, Patrick R. Bailey, Wendell O. Benton, Benjamin T.
Coleman, Owen R. Daughtry, Shauvon N. Deyton, Crystal A.
Fonseca, Kyndall E. Foy, Yamilet Faire, Angel M. Fry,
Lillian R. Garcia, Amy N. Grider, Blake E. Guy, George
Haywood, Kailyn Jijon, Karen R. Joya Cabrera, Jacob D.
Lete, Jennifer Lopez-Ramirez, Pamela A. Lounsbery, Lesly
Mata, Joshua C. Murphy, Courtney R. Richards, Jose L.
Rios Aburto, Oscar Rodriguez, Karina M. Rodriguez
Montanez, Dewey L. Stephenson, Kelly Tesh, Luke R.
Thompson, Gracie D. Whitley, Patricia A. Wiser, Rita A.
To view the entire Dean's list, follow
AUDITORIUM OPEN AGAIN BY YEAR'S END?
Renovations to the Tart Building at
Johnston Community College --- which includes the Paul
A. Johnston Auditorium and a new Student Success Center
in space previously occupied by the school's library ---
are moving toward completion by the end of the year,
reports JCC President David Johnson. The project, he noted, includes "a
complete redesign of the entrance plaza." The Frank
Creech fountain sculpture, "The Rescue," remains in
place "but with brand new surroundings" once
construction is finished, Dr. Johnson added. "It's going
to be a real show-piece from top to bottom, inside and
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.
JOHN BRIAN JONES, 50 - died February 27
MONROE REID JONES, 68 - died February 26
JESSE SANDERS, 74 - died February 26
SELLERS, 90 - died
ANTHONY GEORGE (TONY)
BAKER, 86 - died February 22
HILDA PACE CREECH, 88
- died February 22
ELEANOR PEARCE ABBOTT, 89 -
died February 20
BRUCE WILLIAMS LASSITER, 69
- died February 20
JOHN E. (JACK) LILLICH, 96 -
died February 14
THAT'S THE WAY IT WAS