Category Archives: Local News

Local News

Benson Man Pleads Guilty To Killing Stepfather

A Johnston County man pled guilty Thursday to killing his stepfather during an altercation in April 2011. Ricky David Faircloth Jr. 22, of McLamb Road, Benson pled guilty to second degree murder and assault by strangulation. Faircloth shot and killed Ernest Marvin Tart, 44, and tried to strangle his girlfriend, Jennifer Gregory, 21, of Dunn, when Faircloths’ stepfather attempted to intervene and stop the assault.

When Faircloth retrieved a 22 caliber semi-automatic rifle and pointed it at his girlfriend and stepfather, Tart tried to move the gun away, when it discharged striking the victim in the head. Faircloth was still on the scene when officers arrived and was arrested.

Judge James Ammons sentenced Faircloth to serve 144 to 182 months in the NC Department of Corrections.

“The District Attorney’s Office met with the victim’s family several times in discussing and evaluating this case,” Assistant District Attorney Kelly L. Sandling told WTSB News. “We know that the tragic loss of Mr. Tart has and will continue to be very painful. We hope that this resolution will provide some closure and healing for his family.”

Four Oaks Police: Teen Sexually Assaulted, Friend Beaten After Accepting Ride

Four Oaks Police have arrested a Smithfield man on sexual assault charges after giving a ride to two women in Smithfield. Officer M.R. Peedin said a 21 year-old Four Oaks woman and her 17 year-old friend, visiting from Florida, were leaving the parking lot of Wal-Mart around 6:24am Sunday.

Four Oaks Police allege Terrance Lamont Altman, 45, of Chesnut Drive, Smithfield gave the woman a ride to Four Oaks. While on Highway 96 South near US701, police said Altman stopped his van where he sexually assaulted the teenager and beat the older woman until she was unconscious. When she regained consciousness, she was allegedly beaten again until she lost conscious a second time.

The woman were eventually able to escape from the suspect and contact Four Oaks Police, who found the van parked behind a nearby motel. Officer Peedin said the van was later linked to Altman who was arrested Tuesday by Smithfield Police.

Altman is charged with second degree sex offense and given a $75,000 bond. Charges stemming from the beating of the older victim are pending. Officer Peedin said the two victims did not know the suspect.

Ambulance Involved In Crash

A Selma EMS unit was involved in a collision with a fuel tanker on Oak Street in Selma Thursday night. The accident happened as paramedics were transporting a 15 year-old burn victim to the Johnston County Airport to be airlifted to a trauma center.

The two EMS workers in the ambulance were injured and transported to area hospitals for treatment. Another EMS unit arrived to transport the teen to the awaiting air ambulance. The cause of the accident is still under investigation by the NC Highway Patrol. Photo by Carter Rabil

School System Honors Three Living Legends

(L to R) Superintendent Dr. Ed Croom, , Helen Ellerbee, Hubert Avery, Rossie Adams, and School Board Chairman Larry Strickland.

Three former Johnston County Schools’ educators were honored at the Parent Advisory Council dinner on October 11 at Smithfield-Selma High School. Parent Advisory Council members from the 44 schools were witness to this grand award. The careers of these retired teachers spanned over 30 years in Johnston County Schools. They were recognized for their legacies of influential teaching styles and dedication to the children they served.

Helen A. Ellerbe, a multi-faceted and creative teacher, is an involved community volunteer and civic leader. She is an heir to the love and promotion of education. Her grandfather, James P. Canaday, served as Superintendent of Johnston County Schools from 1906 to1909. Her teaching profession began at Hopewell Elementary School in Virginia. She also taught at Clayton Primary School, Clayton Elementary School and the Johnston County Migrant School in Benson. She is married to a former Johnston County Superintendent, Dr. James H. Ellerbe.

Hubert Avery was a Master Teacher of biology at Forest Hills High School and South Johnston High School for forty years. He developed a positive student-teacher relationship based on trust. Avery mandated good discipline, respect for authority, and respect for each other. He is married to Patricia P. Avery.

Rossie L. Adams, a multi-talented teacher, facilitator and community progenitor, served the students at Micro Elementary School for two years and the students at Meadow Elementary School for twenty-eight years. She served on practically every committee at both schools. Her regret is that she did not keep a record of her extensive service. Mrs. Adams was honored as Teacher of the Year for Meadow School
in 1975 and in 1978.

Man Charged With Trying To Kill Wife With Baseball Bat

An Erwin man is now in the Harnett County Jail on charges he tried to kill his wife with a baseball bat Tuesday. Jason Godwin, 33, of Erwin faces charges of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill or seriously injure.

Erwin Police Detective Sgt. Jerry Royal said his department became involved after friends took the 36 year-old victim to Harnett Health Betsy Johnson Hospital.

The victim had serious bruises and what appeared to be a broken wrist after her husband allegedly attacked her at their home located on U.S. 421. She was reportedly hit several times with the bat. She was treated and released from the hospital.

Sgt. Royal said this is the first time Mr. Godwin was arrested on domestic charges in Erwin but he said the suspect has a record of domestic assault. He previously served time with the North Carolina Department of Corrections on assault on a female charges. Those charges stem from an incident that happened in September of 2009. Story by The Daily Record

Ingram Graduates from Basic Combat Training

Army Pvt. Tirrell J. Ingram has graduated from basic combat training at Fort Jackson, Columbia, S.C. During the nine weeks of training, the soldier studied the Army mission, history, tradition and core values, physical fitness, and received instruction and practice in basic combat skills, military weapons, chemical warfare and bayonet training, drill and ceremony, marching, rifle marksmanship, armed and unarmed combat, map reading, field tactics, military courtesy, military justice system, basic first aid, foot marches, and field training exercises.

Ingram is the son of Tiwana Ingram of Cypress Creek Avenue, Tuscaloosa, Ala., and nephew of Carolyn Butts of Barefoot Street, Benson, N.C. He is a 2011 graduate of West Johnston High School near Benson.

Workshops To Discuss Medicare Advantage

Dave Neville from Triangle Insurance was on the air recently at WTSB discussing several workshops that will be offered to discuss Medicare Advantage.

The seminars will be offered as follows: Tuesday, October 16th from 10:00am – 12:00pm at Triangle Insurance, located at 614 East Market Street in downtown Smithfield; Friday, October 26 from 10:00am – 12:00pm at Triangle Insurance; Wednesday, October 31 from 10:00am – 12:00pm at Triangle Insurance; Thursday, November 1st from 10:00am – 12:00pm at Clayton Senior Center on Dairy Road; and Tuesday, November 13th from 2:00pm – 4:00pm at Triangle Insurance.

To RSVP for these seminars, please call 919-938-6767.

Fire Officials Discuss Fire Prevention Week

Paul Whitehurst, Assistant Johnston County Fire Marshal and Kenly Fire Chief (left) , along with Chris Perry, Johnston County Fire Marshal, (right) appeared live on WTSB on Oct. 9 as part of Fire Prevention Week, which is observed this week in Johnston County.

They encouraged listeners to find “2 Ways Out” of a dwelling if a fire occurred. They also told listeners there are 24 fire departments in Johnston County and about 1,300 fire departments in N.C.

The Fire Marshal & Assistant Fire Marshal informed citizens about a free smoke detector program in the state where a grant was given to provide about 900 free smoke detectors to citizens. For more information about this program, contact your local fire department.

20 Patients From Carolina House Treated After Inhaling Cleaning Solution

Paramedics transported 20 residents from Carolina House in Smithfield to two area hospitals Wednesday night after they were overcome by a chemical odor. Smithfield fire crews and Johnston County EMS units responded to the facility at 830 Berkshire Road at 10:22pm after residents started complaining about feeling dizzy, having difficulty breathing, and nausea.

Johnston County EMS Chief Josh Holloman said three ambulances were used to transport the 20 patients to Johnston Medical Center in Smithfield and Clayton where they were given precautionary evaluations by physicians. Holloman said many of the residents had respiratory complaints.

Smithfield Fire Chief Patrick Harris said crews determined a cleaning solution had been spilled on the carpet in a patient’s room and the “citric odor” spread to others rooms. Maintenance crews used baking soda to neutralize the odor so residents could return to their rooms after being evaluation at the two local hospitals. Photo by Carter Rabil

Couple Charged In Johnston County Break-In

Johnston County deputies have arrested two suspects in connection with a residential break-in discovered Sunday at a home on Highway 231. Melanie Bailey reported while she was away from her residence just a short time, someone gained entry through a back door and stole $8,410 in property, including jewelry and electronics. About $800 worth of the stolen goods were later recovered.

Timothy Raun Leslie, 32, of Bigelow Road, Cary and Charlotte Ann Strickland, 37, of Old Smithfield Road, Bailey were arrested Wednesday on felony breaking and entering, larceny, and conspiracy charges. Strickland was also charged with violating her probation from an April 2011 conviction for felony cocaine possession. She received an 18-month probationary sentence on the charge last year in Johnston County Court, according to court documents.

Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Tammy Amaon said Leslie and Strickland were boyfriend and girlfriend. Amaon said additional charges have not been ruled out.