Stories and photos by Wingate Lassiter
unless otherwise noted

SPORTS & RECREATION: #SSStrong Community Day
FEATURE PAGE: Smithfield's World War II "home front"
OPINIONS: Putting tax rates in perspective
Smithfield Town Council budget session of May 16
Summary of county manager's proposed budget

Smithfield Council leans toward leaving tax

rate at 57 cents --- in effect, a tax increase

Town Manager Mike Scott's proposed budget for fiscal 2019-20 will be balanced with a property-tax rate of 57 cents per $100 valuation, based on a consensus of Smithfield Town Council members voiced at a budget session late last week.

While that's the same rate the town has assessed since 2003, keeping it unchanged this year will increase real-estate taxes for most Smithfield residents and businesses because of higher property assessments resulting from countywide revaluation, last done eight years ago.

Mr. Scott plans to release his proposed budget to the public this Friday (May 24). The Town Council will hold a public hearing on the budget during its regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, June 4.

READ MORE about last Thursday's Town Council budget session>

County manager recommends keeping county's property-tax rate at 78 cents

County Manager Rick Hester has unveiled a proposed county budget that's balanced without changing the current property-tax rate of 78 cents per $100 valuation. That, too, will increase real-estate taxes for most Johnston County residents and business because of upward revaluations.

Mr. Hester said the recommendation is his. "The Board (of Commissioners) has not weighed in yet," he told the Sun. Commissioners will have their say during budget sessions scheduled for Monday, June 10 and Monday, June 17, both at 6 p.m.

A public hearing for citizens to make comments about the budget is set for 10 a.m. Monday, June 3 during the commissioners' regular monthly meeting.

READ MORE about the county manager's proposed budget>

212 E. Church Street  •  919-934-1121 

#SSStrong Community Day was heated fun

The third annual celebration of "Smithfield-Selma Strong Community Day" took place beneath blue skies and hot sunshine last Saturday on the football field at SSS.

At right, sophomore Jason Freeman of the high school's golf team oversees one of several games played by youngsters free of charge. Most everyone who took part went home with a prize of some sort.

Numerous businesses and organizations set up information stations to let folks know about their services to the community.

The annual event is sort of a "pep rally" for all the schools in the Smithfield-Selma attendance district, including South Smithfield, West Smithfield, Wilson's Mills, and Selma elementary, Smithfield and Selma middle, and Smithfield-Selma High. This year the Innovation Academy at South Campus took part as well.

More photos on this week's SPORTS & RECREATION PAGE>

7th Street Marketplace & The Chicken Barn

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

Monday, May 27 a holiday

for many public services

Practically every government agency and service as well as banks and public schools will take the day off in honor of Americans who gave the "Supreme Sacrifice" during warfare waged worldwide to protect our homeland.

Commemoration Monday at the Courthouse

The Johnston County Council of Veterans Organizations will hold a Memorial Day ceremony at 11 a.m. Monday inside the Courthouse in Smithfield. Guest speaker will be retired Command Sergeant Major Benny Dobbs Jr.

Memorial Day is traced back to the mid-1800s when spontaneous gatherings took place to honor the fallen after the Civil War. It was originally called Decoration Day in 1868. Congress designated Memorial Day as a federal holiday in the National Holiday Act of 1971, setting the date as the last Monday in May.

ON TODAY'S FEATURE PAGE: Long-time Smithfield resident Ruffin Johnson recalls how things were on the "home front" during the Second World War>

 141 E. Market St. • 919-934-0553 •

Johnston Community College graduates 666

Commencement exercises were conducted May 13 at Campbell University as JCC's auditorium is currently under renovation. (JCCollege photo)

READ the complete list of graduates>


Johnston's County Commissioners will conduct a public hearing at 10 a.m. Tuesday (May 28) in the Four Oaks Town Hall on a proposed "economic incentive development grant" to an unnamed company that "proposes to develop, build, and equip a warehouse/distribution center in an underdeveloped area of the county."

The hearing was originally scheduled for the commissioners' May 6 evening session but was postponed at the last minute without explanation.

It is the county's policy not to release the names of industrial prospects prior to public hearings on incentive-grant requests.

"Trusted by families since 1977"

Sweepers of some trashy Smithfield places