Stories and photos by Wingate Lassiter unless otherwise noted

This week's sponsors: Pernell Inc.; W. Landis Bullock; John H. Scovil & Associates;
Attorney Allen H. Wellons; 7th Street Marketplace; Carroll Pharmacy

FEATURE: Holt Lake memories, Part 2
 SPORTS & RECREATION: high-school scoreboard
 OPINIONS: Patrol leader's take on reckless driving
Smithfield Town Council's budget session


A wooden cross stands between two flowering Redbud trees, also known as "Judas trees," in the parking lot of Smithfield's Centenary United Methodist Church. This variety of tree is evident in numerous yards throughout town this time of year, blooming ahead of many other trees and shrubs sure to "explode" in stunning colors in the days before us. For more about the legend of the Judas Tree, go here>

Carl Lamm's last week on the air; WTSB won't shut down after all

He's retiring after his daily 1-4 p.m. radio show this Friday (March 29), ending a career of 72 years on the air.

His station WTSB first announced that it would be going off the air at the end of this Sunday's programming. That has changed with a lease announced today (Thursday) with a new operator.
READ MORE about that here>


Smithfield Council gets budget briefing;

after revaluation, will tax rate be cut?

Town Manager Mike Scott told the Smithfield Council Tuesday evening that Johnston County's revaluation of real estate for property taxation is likely to produce $500,000 in additional revenue for the town during the new fiscal year that starts July 1.

That's assuming the town's property-tax rate of 57 cents per $100 valuation remains  the same.

How much, then, could the rate be cut that's "revenue neutral"?

Mr. Scott said each penny of the town's tax rate brings in about $95,000 annually. A five-cent cut in the rate would come close to negating that extra $500,000 in revenue resulting from revaluation, council members figured.

No decision on that question was forthcoming at Tuesday's opening budget session. Instead, the council spent the evening reviewing requests from department heads for capital improvements and additional personnel in Fiscal 2019-20.

READ MORE about Tuesday's budget-planning session>

Speaking of revaluation, April 25 is the deadline to file a "formal appeal" regarding specific disagreements with the county's recent assignment of new real-estate values for property taxation. Actually, the Johnston County Board of Equalization and Review will begin hearing cases in a series of meetings starting next week.
For more information about the appeals process, go here>

Highway 70 West Business  •  919-934-1174  •

Schools cite various "Employees of Year"

Katherine Myers, school nutrition assistant at Smithfield-Selma High, was honored as a Johnston County Public Schools "Employee of the Year" in her field at a reception last week. Offering congratulations is Superintendent of Schools Ross Renfrow. She was one of six "educators that serve outside of a classroom setting" who were so honored. A panel of retired educators chose the winners from "hundreds of nominations."
Johnston County Public Schools photo

READ MORE on the Johnston County Public Schools website>

Neuse Charter beats SSS in girls soccer

The Cougars from Neuse Charter School shut out Smithfield-Selma's Spartans 2-0 in a match played last Friday afternoon. Earlier this month, the SSS girls won a match against their neighborhood rival, 6-0.

More high-school scores on today's SPORTS & RECREATION page>

212 E. Church Street  •  919-934-1121 

Chamber's CEO chosen

for national fellowship

Mike Mancuso, president and CEO of the Triangle East Chamber of Commerce (formerly the Smithfield-Selma Chamber), has been selected to participate in the U.S. Chamber's Business Leads Fellowship Program. He'll be among 33 state and local Chamber executives taking part in the second class of this three-month-long training regimen.

READ the full announcement on the Chamber's website>

Ribbon-cutting at JCC's

new Cyber Cafe Express

The Chamber of Commerce is hosting a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 9 a.m. Monday (April 1) at the recently opened Cyber Cafe Express at Johnston Community College. A component of non-profit Johnston County Industries (JCI), the coffee shop is located in the Student Lounge inside the Wilson Building. It's open to the public Monday-Friday from 7:30 a.m. till 2 p.m. JCI also operates the Cyber Cafe in the Johnston Medical Mall (former Burlington Mills plant) in Smithfield.

141 E. Market Street  •  919-934-0553 


Johnston County Board of Commissioners
10 a.m. & 6
p.m. Monday, April 1
Johnston County Courthouse, 207 E. Market Street, Smithfield
At the morning session
the board will hear a funding request from the Archer Lodge Veterans Memorial Committee, get updates on activities of Johnston-Lee-Harnett Community Action and Johnston Regional Airport, hear a request from Beverage Destruction Service to set up a "Johnston County Green Initiative," consider an agreement to purchase water from Sampson County to serve the Johnston East distribution system, and award contracts for water-main extensions in two rural water districts: Elevation and Buffalo.
At the evening session the board will consider an agreement regarding the county's participation in construction of a segment of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail between Clayton and Smithfield. The board will conduct public hearings on three petitions for rezoning of properties for business purposes in Clayton, Cleveland, and O'Neals townships.
View the full agendas for both sessions>

Smithfield Town Council
7 p.m. Tuesday, April 2
Town Hall, 350 E. Market Street, Smithfield
Among items on the agenda:
• Adoption of an ordinance to limit the tethering of animals in town.
• Presentation of Police Department's "Officer of the Year" award to Detective Sergeant Dale Wood.
• Approval of three special events: "Poochapalooza Festival" on April 27 at the Second Street Dog Park, Riders Meet Circuit car show on June 30 at Sound Station and Security, and a "Craft Beer Crawl" on September 20 in Downtown Smithfield.
Public hearings: (1) rezoning requested by John A. Whitley for property at the northeast corner of South Third and Woodall streets from R-8 residential to O/I (Office/Institutional); (2) special-use permit requested by Will Roland to allow for a place of worship in a B-3 (Highway Entrance Business) district at the intersection of West Market Street and Whitley Drive; (3) special-use permit requested by Bonnie Godwin to allow a residential dwelling on property in an O/I district on the north side of North Street just east of its intersection with Seventh Street.
View the full agenda with supporting documents>

7th Street Marketplace & The Chicken Barn

  Market Street (US 70 Business) at 7th Street, Downtown Smithfield


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.



JUSTIN STEELE FULMER, 30 - died March 23

GLENDA DAVIS JOHNSON, 81 - died March 22