ONLINE MAY 2, 2019
Teacher supplement increase a priority
in coming year's local budget for schools
Members of the Johnston County
Board of Education want an increase in teacher salary
supplements at the top of the list of new funding
requests in Superintendent Ross Renfrow's proposed local
budget for fiscal 2019-20.
His proposal adds 1% across the board to current
supplements. The price tag is $1.4 million, part of a
$21.1-million increase in school funding sought from
Johnston's County Commissioners in the new fiscal year
that starts July 1.
The school board met in special session Monday evening
to go over the proposed budget with Dr. Renfrow. The
session lasted less than an hour, and no changes were
made in the numbers he presented. Formal budget adoption
by the school board is expected at its next regularly
scheduled meeting on Tuesday, May 14.
The County Commissioners will make decisions about the
schools' request and other county budget items,
including the new year's property-tax rate, in June.
MORE from Monday's school-budget session>
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HAS GONE TO THE DOGS
But in a positive way with Saturday's
official opening of the town's new Second Street Dog
Park. In this photo are contestants lining up for a
"Best Dressed" contest.
& SEE MORE about the event on the Sports
& Recreation Page>
Smithfield Council considers contributions
to non-profits, including local
Most of Tuesday evening's budget
session of the Smithfield Town Council was spent
listening to funding requests for Fiscal 2019-20 from 13
non-profit agencies, including six local schools:
• Annie D. Jones Child Enrichment Fund --- $3,000 (same
as this year).
• Ava Gardner Museum --- $25,000 (up from $22,000 this
• Community & Senior Services --- $3,500 (same as
• Downtown Smithfield Development Corp. --- $55,000
(same as this year).
• Harbor, Inc. --- $2,500 (same as this year).
• Public Library of Johnston County and Smithfield ---
$270,474 (up from $250,000).
• Triangle East Chamber of Commerce --- $4,000 (same as
• Innovation Academy at South Campus --- $3,500 (a new
• Neuse Charter School --- $1,000 (same as this year).
• Smithfield-Selma High School --- $1,000 (same as this
• Smithfield Middle School --- $1,000 (same as this
• South Smithfield Elementary School --- $1,000 (same as
• West Smithfield Elementary School --- $1,000 (same as
The Town Council deferred decisions on those requests
until further budget deliberations later this month. The
town's 2019-20 budget must be adopted by July 1.
MORE from Tuesday's town-budget session>
Members of the
extended Ennis family attending last weekend's
celebration included (left to right) Darryl Ennis,
Roderick Ennis, Deloris Ennis, Donna Horton, Carolyn
Ennis, Adrienne Grantham, Audrey Baine, Daniyah
Humphrey, and Aria Baine.
Historic African-American gymnasium
is now the Coach Reginald Ennis Pavilion
A two-day celebration last weekend marked
the official re-naming of the refurbished Johnston
Central High School gymnasium in East Smithfield as the
"Coach Reginald Ennis Pavilion."
The event was a tribute to a beloved coach and teacher
who served Johnston County's public schools almost 40
years, including the transition from segregated campuses
to integration and consolidation of our local schools.
The weekend's activities were hosted by the Johnston
Central Alumni Association, which purchased the 1937
gymnasium in 1983 after it had fallen into despair
following the closure of Johnston Central High in 1969.
Mr. Ennis was a graduate of that high
school, known in those days as Johnston County Training
School (JCTS). Following a stellar basketball career at
North Carolina College in Durham (today's North Carolina
Central University) he returned home to teach and coach
at JCTS in 1946, where he made his mark over the next 22
He joined his wife, Carolyn, as a teacher at partially
integrated Smithfield High School in 1968-69 before
moving over to consolidated Smithfield-Selma Senior High
School, where he began coaching basketball once more. In
1970 he was elevated to an assistant principal's
position at SSS, where he remained until his retirement
in 1985. He died in 1994.
During his playing days at North Carolina College,
Reginald Ennis got the nickname "Hawk," a moniker that
followed him home to JCTS, where the basketball team
under his guidance became known as "The Mighty Hawks."
The weekend's dedication activities spotlighted a number
of his players who returned to pay tribute to Coach
Ennis, including Alfred (Al) Heartley, the first
African-American basketball captain for the N.C. State
"Wolfpack," in 1970-71.
HONOR LEADING VOLUNTEERS
Public Schools recognized "Volunteers of the Year"
at the annual PTA/PTO Council Meeting Banquet April
16. Pictured with Superintendent of Schools Ross
Renfrow: (left to right) Billy Lassiter from
Smithfield-Selma High, third runner-up; Cindy Cole,
River Dell Elementary, first runner-up; Sarah
Poling, McGee's Crossroads Elementary, "Adult
Volunteer of the Year"; Angela Clinard, West Clayton
Elementary, second runner-up; and Edward Olive,
South Johnston High, third runner-up. Others honored
from local schools: ADULT ---- Janet Costa,
Smithfield Middle; Aly Carey, South Smithfield
Elementary; Lisa Bombardier, West Smithfield
Elementary; Shannon Macedo, Wilson's Mills
Elementary; Charles Brewer, Innovation Academy at
South Campus; YOUTH --- Brittany Stanley,
Smithfield-Selma High; Aniya Williams, Smithfield
Middle; Rafael Fuentes-Reyes, South Smithfield
Elementary; Diana Herrera-Hernandez, West Smithfield
Elementary; Alex Torres Diaz, Wilson's Mills
Elementary; and Sarah Beth Williamson, Innovation
Academy at South Campus.
County Public Schools photo)
LOCAL GOVERNMENT AGENDAS
Board of Commissioners
10 a.m. & 6 p.m. Monday, May 6
Johnston County Courthouse, 207 E. Market Street,
• At the morning session, the
board will receive the Health Department's annual
"Community Health Needs Assessment" report and will be
asked to approve Health Department fees for 2020.
• At the evening session the board will hold a public
hearing on an Economic Development Incentive Grant for
an unnamed "warehouse/distribution center in an
underdeveloped area of the county." Hearings will also
be held on two rezoning petitions: one in Cleveland
Township, the other in Meadow Township.
View the full agendas for both
Smithfield Town Council
7 p.m. Tuesday, May 7
Town Hall, 350 E. Market Street, Smithfield
Among items on the agenda:
• Public hearing on a request from Daniel Evans for a
special-use permit for a U-Haul rental facility on the
east side of South Bright Leaf Boulevard just north of
its intersection with Wellons Street.
• Public hearing on a request
from Xtra Mile Motors for a special-use permit for an
automobile dealership on the north side of West Market
Street 500 feet east of its intersection with Highway
• Public hearing on a request from Hilce Sierra for a
special-use permit for a residential dwelling on
property within a B-2 (business) zoning district on the
east side of South Seventh Street just south of its
intersection with Woodall Street.
• A decision on Bonnie Godwin's request for a
special-use permit for a residential dwelling in an O/I
(Office/Institutional) zoning district on the north side
of North Street just east of its intersection with
Seventh Street. A public hearing on her request was
conducted last month.
the full agenda with supporting documents>
DEATHS & FUNERALS
Each week we'll post links to obituaries about persons
who have died during the past week. We'll 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.
BONITA KAY (BONNIE) VANN CAPPS, 67 - died April 30
WALTER RAY PERRY, 75 - died April 27
ROBERT LEE DEANS, 72
died April 25
ALICE FAYE THORNTON POPE, 79 - died April 25
THAT'S THE WAY IT WAS