ONLINE FEBRUARY 21, 2019
and photos by Wingate
Lassiter unless otherwise noted
This month's sponsors: W. Landis Bullock;
John H. Scovil & Associates;
7th Street Marketplace (Stancil Oil Co.); Carroll
Inc.; Realtor Susan
CHURCH YOUTH SEND VALENTINE'S
ROSES TO SHUT-INS
These young folks at Smithfield's
Centenary United Methodist Church filled 175
vases with red rose buds that were delivered
on Valentine's Day to every resident at
Smithfield Manor Nursing and Rehab: (right to
left) Camryn Outen, Austin Outen, Blaine
Outen, Graham Henderson, Ellie Pippin, Tristan
Matthews, James Foy, Brayden Parr, Connor
Parr, Crecia Parrish, Riley Pippin, Elijah
Matthews, Emory Foy, Jenna Pearce, Lily
McLamb, and Olivia Fisher. The church's
congregation collected the vases, Carolina
Pottery donated ribbon for bows, and a
"special donor" purchased the flowers. Members
of the "delivery team" were Hayley and Grace Ann
Connie Johnson, Meagan Matthews, John and
Sharon Parrish, John Stearley, and Carolyn
Johnston Health gets yet another
high mark from a national evaluator
Johnston Health, which operates
public hospitals in Smithfield and Clayton as part of
the UNC Health Care system, has received yet another
honor from a national rating agency.
The Women's Choice Award has
named Johnston Health "one of America's Best Hospitals
for Patient Safety." That places Johnston Health in
the top 8 percent of 4,797 U.S. hospitals evaluated.
This past year, Johnston Health
received the Healthgrades Outstanding Patient
Experience Award, Grade A hospital-safety ratings from
the Leapfrog Group, a four-star rating from the
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and was
named a "Top 25" hospital service by Business North
READ MORE about the latest
honor in a news release from Johnston Health>
The editor's perspective on
hospital advances --- on our page of OPINIONS>
HOSPITAL FOUNDATION GETS MAJOR
Durwood and Vicky Stephenson have
given the Johnston Health Foundation $50,000
to establish the Kay S. Wallace Endowment for
Cancer Patient Support. The gift was made in
memory of Mr. Stephenson's sister, who died in
2016 after a five-year battle with breast
cancer. On hand for a reception acknowledging
the donation were members of Mrs. Wallace's
family: (from left) David Moore; Chad, April,
and Ava Culver; Mr. and Mrs. Stephenson; and
Arnold, Justin, Jordan, and Itzamara Wallace.
Because of the size of the gift, the
foundation has named the education room at
Johnston Health Hematology & Oncology for
Johnston Health photo
Under the Oak Cafe joins Downtown lineup
Blake Gotliffe was cooking for a
Raleigh restaurant when he decided to venture out on his
own. But it wasn't a restaurant he started; instead, it
was Under the Oak Farm, a one-acre tract near Clayton
where he and wife Megan reside and do a little farming
--- food farming, that is.
Megan Gotliffe and son Landon (who just
turned one) have imported a taste of their
Under the Oak Farm near Clayton to Downtown
"Farming had been my hobby for some time," Blake said.
"We started out pickling our produce and selling it at
the Clayton Farmers Market."
Then they began hosting private dinners at Under the
Oak, and their catering business grew to the extent they
expanded last summer into a former restaurant space next
to the Howell Theatre on Downtown Smithfield's Third
"We needed a commercial kitchen,
and this place had it," Blake noted.
"People kept asking us: 'Are you open for lunch?' We had
a great sandwich catering menu," Blake boasted. And so
this week they opened Under the Oak Cafe, serving lunch
from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday from the
same kitchen where they prepare their dishes for
Along with all that, wife Megan has a baking business
she calls "I Do Cakes" --- special orders for weddings,
Back to the farm: Blake said the couple "wanted some
land to grow our own food." Very soon they'll be
planting "root vegetables" to supplement the ingredients
for their catering and cafe offerings, he said.
"Ninety percent of our ingredients come from North
Carolina," he noted. "Nowadays how important it is to
know where your food comes from."
With the addition of Under the Oak Cafe, Downtown
Smithfield now has half a dozen eateries within a block
or so of the Johnston County Courthouse in the heart of
town. That wasn't so barely a decade ago.
For more information about Under the
Oak, follow this link>
Photos from Johnston County Public Schools
OUTSTANDING STUDENTS RECOGNIZED
Among students receiving congratulations from the
Johnston County Board of Education last week: (left-hand photo, left to right) For
demonstrating the character trait of fairness: Ean
Newcomb of Swift Creek Middle School, Cooper
Harris of South Smithfield Elementary, Billy
Bowen of West Johnston High, and Brandon
Stackhouse of South Johnston High; (right-hand
photo) Jude Reece of
Smithfield Middle School, overall winner of
"MathCounts" competition involving more than 100
students from Johnston's 12 middle schools.
SSS boys, Neuse Charter girls advance
Both teams are competing in the semi-finals of their
respective conference tournaments this evening
Get scores and more on this
week's SPORTS PAGE>
Street Marketplace & The Chicken Barn
Market Street (US
70 Business) at 7th Street, Downtown Smithfield
Woodruff heads county elections board
The Johnston County Board of Elections now has five
members rather than four under a new statewide scheme
resulting from recent lawsuits and a new law enacted by
the N.C. General Assembly. Governor Roy Cooper, a
Democrat, has appointed Gordon Woodruff of
Smithfield, also a Democrat, as the new board's
chairman. Other members, appointed by the State Board of
Elections, include two Democrats: Shirley Bell
and Deborah Hooker, both of Clayton; and two
Republicans: John Shallcross Jr. and Debbie
Zink, both of Smithfield.
The next round of elections here are for municipal
offices. The filing period opens July 5 and lasts just
two weeks, till July 19. Election Day is November 5.
Town of Smithfield offices before voters this year are
the mayor's chair, now held by Andy Moore, and three
at-large seats on the Town Council, now held by Emery
Ashley, John Dunn, and Steve Rabil. Four other council
members, elected by districts, hold seats that aren't up
for election again till 2021.
DEATHS & FUNERALS
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.
LINDA SUE JONES BYRD - died
aims to reduce confusion where four highways meet.
The preliminary plan includes four round-abouts in
place of stop signs.
I-95-US 701 interchange plan to be shown
The N.C. Department of Transportation (NCDOT) will host
"open house" at Four Oaks Middle School next
Thursday evening (Feb. 28) to answer questions
and collect public comments about its plan to
reconfigure the complex interchange of I-95 with U.S.
701, U.S. 301, and N.C. 96. NCDOT representatives will
be on hand from 4 to 7 p.m. in the school's cafeteria to
present the plan's details.
For a look at the plan, follow this
Town Council to meet at 6:30 p.m. today
The Smithfield Town Council will convene this evening
(Thursday) to conduct public hearings on amendments
to its Unified Development Ordinance. Among
several changes under consideration: one would require
public notice prior to preliminary approval of a
subdivision; another would reconstitute the town's
Historic Properties Commission as the "Historic
Preservation Commission." Also on today's agenda is
discussion concerning adoption of an annexation policy.
Want a "say" in the Smithfield Town Plan?
Citizens can still "have a say" in development of the
Town of Smithfield Comprehensive Growth Management and
Transportation Plan, even after a public workshop this
past Tuesday evening hosted by Kimley-Horn of Raleigh,
the consulting firm employed by the town to assemble the
plan. At the workshop, citizens were able to inspect
preliminary elements of the plan and make suggestions.
Now, through an online survey, you can put in your "two
Here's the link to take part>
Black History program: "Dancing Stories"