ONLINE JUNE 13, 2019
57 of Smithfield-Selma High's graduates
receive newly instituted academic honors
is the first year Johnston County Public Schools has
replaced traditional valedictorian and salutatorian
awards with classic Latin honors to recognize
outstanding academic achievement by high-school
At Smithfield-Selma High School, 33 seniors with GPA
(grade point average) of 4.25 and above graduated Summa
Cum Laude (Latin for "with highest praise"), 11
seniors with GPA of at least 4.00 graduated Magna
Cum Laude ("with great praise"), and 13 seniors
with GPA of at least 3.75 graduated Cum Laude
Principal David Allen reports that SSS graduated 310
seniors this school year. That number includes 48 who
graduated in December and 262 on May 31.
He also notes that more than $5 million in college
scholarships have been awarded graduates from the
Class of 2019.
View the list of SSS
honor graduates plus the Principal's List and Honor
Roll for the school year's final nine-week grading
School board revises dress-code policies
The Johnston County Board of Education
approved a few changes in dress-code policies for students and staff at its monthly
meeting on Tuesday. The board also approved a number
of administrative reassignments as the system's staff
makes preparations for the new school year that begins
in late August.
READ MORE from
Tuesday's school board session>
Johnston Health photo
HEALTH A REPEAT WINNER
the second year in a row, Johnston Health ---
including its hospitals in Smithfield and Clayton ---
has achieved the Healthgrades Outstanding Patient
Experience Award, ranking the local system among the
top 15 percent of hospitals nationwide so honored.
Healthgrades, a company that provides consumer
information about health-care providers, evaluated
3,449 hospitals that submitted "patient experience"
surveys from 2017 admissions to the Centers for
Medicare and Medicaid Services. As a result,
Healthgrades rated 434 of those as "outstanding."
Pictured at the award presentation: (from left) Amber
Stanley, Johnston Health patient experience
specialist; Chuck Elliott, Johnston Health president
and CEO; Alicia Dreyer of Healthgrades; Dr. Peter
Charvat, chief medical officer; and Ruth Marler, chief
operating officer and chief nursing officer for
Johnston Health, which has been part of UNC Health
Care since 2014.
Traffic advisory for a busy weekend
Two events this weekend will affect
travel on a couple of primary thoroughfares in and
THE ENDLESS YARD sale on Friday and Saturday
will bring extra traffic to Highway 301 through
town. Motorists are advised to be alert for
slow-moving vehicles and frequent stops as shoppers
hunt for roadside bargains.
THE THREE LITTLE PIGS TRIATHLON on Saturday
will temporarily close Booker Dairy Road between
Buffalo Road and Smithfield-Selma High School from
7:00 till 10:30 a.m. At the same time, motorists
traveling Buffalo Road to the north of Booker Dairy
are advised to be cautious in approaching bicyclists
competing in the event.
information about the Three Little Pigs
Attorney at Law
S. Third Street
Commissioners hear final funding appeals,
plan to adopt county budget next Monday
Johnston's County Board of Commissioners
heard from several organizations Monday evening
seeking appropriations presently not included in
County Manager Rick Hester's proposed budget for the
new fiscal year that starts July 1. As it now stands,
the manager's plan is based on keeping the
property-tax rate of 78 cents per $100 --- in effect,
producing an increase in property-tax bills for most
residents and businesses because of recently completed
Agencies and projects seeking funding from the county
in the year ahead but presently not included in Mr.
• Special Olympics, $10,000.
• Partnership for Children, $25,000.
• Harmony Playground in Clayton, $100,000.
• Soil & Water Conservation District, funds for a
• Smithfield Rescue Mission, $22,000.
Commissioners received those requests Monday but made
Besides setting the property-tax rate, the big issue
confronting the board as it heads towards next
Monday's anticipated adoption of the 2019-20 budget is
how much will be allocated to Johnston County Public
Schools. The Board of Education has asked for an
increase of $20.5 million above the current year's
$63.5 million --- a jump of 32.35%. The county manager
is recommending an increase of just under $1.7 million
--- a modest 3.9%.
Johnston County NCAE president April Lee along with
citizens Jennifer Medlin and Margie Riedel urged
commissioners at Monday evening's session to "do all
they can" to fund the school system's request.
On an unrelated budget matter affecting Johnston's
schools, commissioners approved a request made last
week to appropriate an additional $1.5 million before
the end of the current fiscal year June 30 to cover a
shortfall in the school system's operating expenses.
At the commissioners' June 3 session, Superintendent
of Schools Ross Renfrow blamed a shortfall in state
revenues for educating "exceptional children" as well
as state revenues diverted to local charter schools as
big factors for the $1.5 million in additional county
Superintendent Renfrow pledged to return to the
county's General Fund at the end of this month
whatever, if anything, is left unspent of the
SSS teachers get Cullman grants of $52,000
Pictured: Quinn Novels of the N.C.
Smithfield-Selma High School teachers
have received over $52,000 in grants from the Nan Ogburn
Cullman Education Endowment "to promote student
engagement and learning."
Kate Cullman Hedges, eldest daughter of Nan
and Smithfield-Selma High's Principal David
Story and photo from SSS
The grants are administered through the North Carolina
Community Foundation, which works with an advisory
committee to review the applications.
Grants awarded to SSS teachers for 2019 include the
• "SSS Academy of Hospitality and Tourism ... to the
Biltmore Estates" --- exposes students to culinary and
architectural arts in North Carolina.
• "The Great Adventure: Learning About Our Planet and
What Lies Beyond" --- helps students develop a broader
prospective for the Earth and the solar system through a
• "The Nan Ogburn Cullman Brick Wing Gallery" ---
showcases the artwork of students and teachers.
• "My Future Is So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades" ---
student travel to the Smithsonian Institute of American
History and the Museum of African-American History in
• "A Leader's Legacy" --- AVID students visit the Civil
Rights Museum in Atlanta, Ga.
• "SSS Global Partnership" --- supports an educational
travel exchange between SSS and the Taarnby Gymnasium in
• "Spartan Thunder" --- supports the SSS music program
through the purchase of updated drums.
Cullman grants to SSS in 2018 included "virtual reality"
technology that helps students "travel the world"
without leaving the classroom.
Nan Ogburn Cullman, a native of Smithfield, bequeathed
$2 million to Johnston County Public Schools upon her
death in 2015. At age 15, she won a scholarship to
attend the Julliard School. After graduation, she
performed with regional opera companies and other
chorales throughout her life. She and her husband,
former Philip Morris CEO Hugh Cullman, spent most of
their lives together in Westchester County, New York
before relocating in 1993 to Beaufort, N.C. and later to
Johnston County is unveiling historical
markers at five locations this summer
Todd Johnson, Director, Johnston
County Heritage Center
The Johnston County
Heritage Center and Heritage Commission will
unveil five historical markers in various Johnston
County locations during June and July. Each
unveiling ceremony will feature special speakers,
historical drama, music, and refreshments.
The first unveiling will
be held at 10 a.m. next Wednesday (June 19)
at First Missionary Baptist Church at North Fourth
and Caswell streets in Smithfield. The church is
near the original location of a two-room
Freedmen’s Schoolhouse, built 1868-69.
to the staff of the North Carolina Historic
Preservation Office, this is the only Freedmen’s
schoolhouse known to be left standing in the
state. It is thought to be one of only five or so
left in the nation, making it an extremely rare
piece of history.
Other marker unveilings
are scheduled as follows:
Friday, June 21
--- 11 a.m. at Atkinson’s Mill on NC Highway 42
between highways 39 and 96 north of Selma.
Friday, June 28
--- 10 a.m. at Hinton’s Quarter Courthouse site
near the East Front Street roundabout in Clayton.
Saturday, July 6
--- 10 at the Governor Benjamin Williams
birthplace site, 3390 Grabtown Road east of
Saturday, July 20
--- 10 a.m. at the Catch-Me-Eye Explosion site
near the intersection of US 70 and 301 in Selma.
These historical markers
have been made possible by a matching grant from
the Johnston County Visitors Bureau and by gifts
from the Clayton Historical Association and the
Smith-Bryan Chapter, Daughters of the American
WHAT'S COMING UP?
A rundown of upcoming civic and
cultural opportunities in our community
that we've been told about or seen publicized in other
COMMUNITY BLOOD DRIVE next
Tuesday (June 18) from 10:30 a.m. till 3 p.m. at
the Johnston County Health Department at 517 N.
Bright Leaf Blvd. Appointments may be made at redcrossblood.org by
entering sponsor code "Smithfield" at the upper
right-hand corner of the opening page.
GRASSROOTS ARTS GRANT WORKSHOP next
Tuesday (June 18) from 3 to 4 p.m. at the Triangle
East Chamber of Commerce headquarters at 1115 Outlet
Center Drive. The Johnston County Arts Council is
accepting applications through July 18 from non-profit
organizations that promote cultural-arts programming.
For more information, visit www.jcartscouncil.org.
MUSIC FOR THE LUNCH BUNCH SERIES opens its 35th
annual summer series next Wednesday (June 19) at 12:15
p.m. at Smithfield's First Presbyterian Church. The
first performance features Dara Edwards and students
the full series schedule>
JUNIOR LEAGUE GALA Saturday, June 22 to benefit
the Smithfield Rescue Mission's "Blessing Baskets"
program for needy families. The event begins at 7 p.m.
at The Farm at 95. Tickets are $65 each and include an
open beer and wine bar. For more information and to
purchase tickets, visit www.jwlsmithfield.com.
MY KID'S CLUB SUMMER CAMP July 8-19 at South
Smithfield Elementary School. It's open to the first
50 kids ages 6-12 who submit an application from a
child's teacher, the office at South Smithfield
School, or by contacting Mamie Moore, director of
operations for My Kid's Club: e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or
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.
WALTER LEE AVERY, 73 - died June
HELEN LANGLEY BROWN, 76 -
died June 10
RODNEY PERCY ACTON, 73 -
died June 7
ELLA THOMPSON JORDAN PRICE, 94 -
died June 7
CHRISTINE GILBERT, 93 - died June
ANNIE RUTH PARRISH, 85 - died June 6
THAT'S THE WAY IT WAS
Here's an early
1930s "colorized" postcard of newly opened Johnston
County Hospital at the corner of Hancock Street and US
301 in Smithfield, complete with nurses sitting on
benches out front. Replaced by nearby Johnston
Memorial Hospital in 1951, the building was used for a
couple of decades after that for individual doctors'
offices before its conversion into the present-day
home of the county's Department of Social Services.
"Colorized" postcards were actually produced from
black-and-white photographs "doctored" to add colors,
similar to what's now done with old black-and-white
WANT TO VIEW PREVIOUS EDITIONS?
WEEK'S "INSIDE" PAGES
SSS honor graduates listed
are our high-school graduates?
information about our community, check out
our online "newspaper parent" via the link shown
below. This website is a handy "portal" to
important sources of current information about
Smithfield and Johnston County.