Stories and photos by Wingate Lassiter
unless otherwise noted

County agrees to join state in building Clayton-to-Smithfield "greenway" trail

Johnston's County Commissioners on Monday unanimously approved an agreement with the state's Division of Parks and Recreation to take part in constructing and maintaining a proposed link of North Carolina's Mountains-to-Sea Trail between Clayton and Smithfield.

The state agrees to acquire properties or easements "from willing sellers" using Connect NC Bond funds and then lease those tracts to the county for 30 years for a nominal fee of $1.

The county, in turn, agrees to construct and maintain the trail, which likely would consist of a paved, 10-foot-wide bicycle and pedestrian roadway similar to its connections to the Neuse River Trail near Clayton (pictured here) and the Buffalo Creek Greenway at Smithfield.

County Manager Rick Hester said state and federal grants would likely cover most of the trail's construction expenses. At this time, the exact location and length of the proposed link hasn't been determined, but the intent is to build it on low-lying grounds beside the Neuse River, he said. "This is very exciting for our quality of life," he said.

READ MORE from Monday's monthly meeting of the County Commissioners>

  real-estate broker



These four former teachers and a former principal were among the folks who gathered at South Smithfield Elementary School last Sunday afternoon for a "Dedication and Reunion" celebrating the school's 62 years: (left to right) teacher Sandra Edwards, principal Twyla Batten Mitchell, and teachers Jane Embler, Debbie Sanders, and Carolyn Williams. The four teachers had tenures ranging from 26 to 35 years at South Smithfield.

MORE about Sunday's event on today's FEATURE PAGE>

Highway 70 West Business  •  919-934-1174  •

Photo from Downtown Smithfield Development Corporation

Town of Smithfield's Public Works

crew named "Main Street Champions"

Employees of the town's Public Works Department were honored as Smithfield's "2018 Main Street Champions" at the recent North Carolina Main Street Awards Ceremony held in Salisbury. The department was selected for the award by the Downtown Smithfield Development Corporation (DSDC), one of 42 organizations statewide that conferred similar honors as "Main Street" communities.

In recommending Smithfield's award, DSDC offered the following statement:

"You know how some people put in the essential hard work, do not look for recognition, and can always be counted on. Smithfield is very fortunate to have a group of these people in the Town of Smithfield's Public Works Department.

"They keep Downtown Smithfield looking great, whether they're installing flags and banners or keeping it clean. They are instrumental in Downtown Smithfield events, working before and afterward to get downtown back to normal soon after an event that attracts thousands.

"When it snows, they're among the first people downtown, shoveling sidewalks so that businesses can open. They can even be found in the middle of a hurricane, checking on downtown.

"Although their work is often not seen by the public, their contributions to Downtown Smithfield are of tremendous importance, and are very much appreciated. That is why they are North Carolina Main Street Champions!"

DSDC's executive director, Sarah Edwards, re-presented the award at Tuesday evening's monthly meeting of the Smithfield Town Council.

212 E. Church Street  •  919-934-1121 

Photo from Johnston County Public Schools


The Johnston County Board of Education at its March meeting recognized four students who have demonstrated integrity at their schools: (from left) Edgar Rivera-Nunez of West Smithfield Elementary, Kamryn Paige Hollowell of West Clayton Elementary, Caelyn Barlond of Wilson's Mills Elementary, and Cole Daughtery of West View Elementary.

Johnston County Board of Education's
monthly meeting next Tuesday, April 9
Open business session at 4 p.m.
Public comment session at 6 p.m.
Evander S. Simpson Building, 2320 U.S. 70 Business East, Smithfield
The agenda was not published by the Sun's "press time" on Thursday;
this link will lead you to it once it's posted online>

High School Scoreboard on today's SPORTS & RECREATION page>

141 E. Market Street  •  919-934-0553 

County names water plant for Tim Broome

The County Commissioners Monday evening adopted a resolution praising the work of former public utilities director Timothy G. (Tim) Broome and naming the county's water-treatment plant after him.

Mr. Broome, 75, died Sunday after a battle with cancer.

Working as a professional engineer with Ragsdale Engineers and McKim & Creed, he played a key role in designing much of Johnston's outlying water and sewer systems in the 1970s, '80s, and '90s before joining County Government in 1997 as Director of Infrastructure and Engineering.

County Manager Rick Hester pointed out during Monday's session that 20 years ago "very few people" in rural Johnston had access to "public drinking water," depending on unreliable groundwater wells instead. Today the county has about 35,000 customers, Mr. Hester noted; "Tim Broome was the backbone of that system."

Since retiring from his full-time position in 2013, Mr. Broome continued to serve the county as a consulting engineer. "Last week when he was home in bed he was working on plans for us," Mr. Hester said.

A link to Mr. Broome's obituary appears under DEATHS & FUNERALS below.

On today's page of OPINIONS: Tim Broome's place in local history>

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.

JEAN STONE DENNY ASHLEY, 87 - died April 4


DIANA POUNDS FUTCH, 75 - died March 31

TIMOTHY G. BROOME, 75 - died March 31

JANICE BARBOUR POOLE, 74 - died March 30

CECIL THOMAS ETHERIDGE, 75 - died March 30


SHANNON COBLE KIMBALL, 87 - died March 27


"Trusted by families since 1977"

"The Original Drifters" headline

35th Ham & Yam Festival May 4