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Four Oaks Junior Golfer Earns Spot In USGA Amateur Championship
Patrick Stephenson, a rising South Johnston High School junior, will play in the 114th U.S. Men’s Amateur Championship on August 11th and 12th at the Atlanta Athletic Club.

Patrick qualified for a spot in the USGA Men’s Amateur by finishing among the Top 3 in the USGA Men’s Amateur Championship qualifier at Keith Hills golf course in Buies Creek last week.

At the Buies Creek qualifier, there was a very strong field of 74 players made up of elite junior players, college players and former college golfers. The course was playing 6700 and par 72.

The Atlanta event will be a two round stroke play qualifier and then the field will be cut to the top 64 players for the match play portion of the event.

Patrick’s goal is to make the field of 64 and advance to match play.

Across the US approximately 6800 players turned in applications to play at a qualifier and try to earn a spot in Atlanta and only 312 would advance.

The USGA Men’s Amateur is one of the biggest and most prestigious Amateur events in the world.

Patrick thanked his swing coach, Ryan Daley, from Keith Hills for all his help over the past three years.

Patrick will also be among more than 470 of golf’s top young players who will compete in the July 24-29 Optimist International Junior Golf Championships at PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

He will compete in the Boys 16-18 age division.

Patrick qualified by shooting a 72 for a first-place win in a qualifying tournament hosted by the Optimist NC East District on June 14 at Wedgewood Golf Course in Wilson.

He was sponsored by the South Johnston Optimist Club of Benson.  Patrick is the son of Mike and Anita C. Stephenson of Four Oaks.

Old Beulah Road Bridge To Close Monday For Replacement
A series of 12 bridge replacements designed to improve Johnston County’s transportation infrastructure will continue next week as crews begin replacing the ninth bridge in the contract.

On Monday, July 25, the N.C. Department of Transportation will close a section of Old Beulah Road so crews with S.T. Wooten Corp. of Wilson can replace the bridge over the Little River. The bridge is scheduled to reopen Jan. 23, 2015, weather permitting.

Traffic will be detoured onto Woodruff Road and Micro Road West during the closure.

The existing bridge is nearly 60 years old and NCDOT posted a weight limit restricting single-axle vehicles weighing more than 26 tons and tractor trailers weighing more than 32 tons from using the bridge. The new bridge will meet current design standards and will not have posted weight limits. NCDOT identified this bridge to be replaced as part of its State Funded Bridge Program, which focuses on improving the overall condition of bridges statewide through replacement, repair and preservation. More information about the program and North Carolina’s bridges can be found here.

This project is part of a $10.4 million express design-build contract awarded to S.T. Wooten in 2013 to replace a total of 12 bridges in Johnston County with new bridges by late 2015. To date, eight bridges have been replaced and the bridge on Bizzell Grove Church Road is currently under construction and scheduled to open Aug. 20.

Motorists are advised to use caution while traveling in the area and to expect delays.

Unemployment Rate Unchanged

North Carolina’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for June was 6.4 percent, which was unchanged from May’s revised rate of 6.4 percent.  The national jobless rate decreased from 6.3 in May to 6.1 percent in June, according to the NC Department of Commerce - Labor and Economic Analysis Division.

North Carolina’s June 2014 unemployment rate is 1.9 percentage points lower than a year ago. The number of people employed decreased 8,577 over the month to 4,389,167, and increased 77,054 over the year. The number of people unemployed decreased 2,142 over the month to 299,313 and declined 89,007 over the year.

Since June 2013, non-farm jobs gained 74,800 with the total private sector growing 82,300 and government jobs declining by 7,500 workers.

The largest increase in jobs over the past 12 months was in the Professional & Business Services sector adding 31,900, followed by Trade, Transportation & Utilities adding 19,800 workers, and Leisure & Hospitality Services 8,200.

The only major industry experiencing a drop over the last year was Government.

$262,500 Worth Of Marijuana Plants Seized
On Friday, the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office seized 105 marijuana plants. The plants had a potential street value of $262,500.

Authorities would not disclose the exact location the plants were found, only that it was in the central part of Wayne County.
Investigators said combined efforts from the patrol division, aviation unit, and ACE Team led to the marijuana find.

No arrests have been made.   

Sex Offender Arrested
A Johnston County man on the North Carolina Sex Offender Registry has been arrested.

Johnston County deputies arrested Johnny Franklin Thornton, 65, of Newton Grove Thursday night.
Authorities said Thornton registered his address on Thornton Road, in southern Johnston County. However, his probation officer reportedly went to that location several times and could not locate Thornton. Officials said they later learned he was not living at the address.

According to court and prison records, Thornton was convicted in August 2012 for taking indecent liberties with a minor. He received no active jail time, instead was sentenced to 30 months probation, and placed on the sex offender registry.

Thornton was charged Thursday with failing to register his address as a sex offender and probation violation.  He was confined in the Johnston County Jail under a $50,000 bond. 

Clayton Woman Charged With Child Abuse

Clayton Police arrested a woman Wednesday night for misdemeanor child abuse.

Officers were called to an address on South Moore Street around 9pm for a domestic disturbance.

Police allege Rosaland Antionette Hardy, 41, had assaulted her juvenile stepdaughter during the incident.

Hardy was released from the Johnston County Jail after posting a $1,000 bond.

Clayton Police Charge Suspect With Prescription Fraud
A woman who allegedly passed a forged prescription at a local pharmacy has been arrested.

Clayton Police arrested Jeana Nunney Muster, 35, on Wednesday.

A spokesperson said Muster passed a forged prescription at the CVS Pharmacy.

Muster was charged with obtaining a controlled substance by fraud or forgery. 

Pair Holds Up Convenience Store
Dunn Police responded to the report of an armed robbery Tuesday night at the D&H Mart at 1001 Fairground Road.

According to the report, two suspects — a black man wearing a dark hoodie and a black bandana over his face, and a black woman wearing a dark hoodie, black pants and light-colored gloves  — entered the store around 11:30 p.m.

While the man pointed a silver gun at the people in the store, the woman jumped over the counter and demanded the clerk open the cash register. The woman grabbed the cash drawer and both suspects ran out the door toward the apartments located on Webster Drive, escaping with an undisclosed amount of cash.

Police arrived immediately after the incident and searched the area, but were not able to locate the suspects, the report said. Courtesy The Daily Record

Next Music For The Lunch Bunch July 30th
The next performance scheduled for the 30th season of Music for the Lunch Bunch series is Wednesday, July 30th at 12:15pm at the First Presbyterian Church in Smithfield.  Tori Howell will be performing on the flute and Catherine Hamner will be performing on the piano.

Tori Howell, 21, (left photo ) lives in Clayton. She graduated in 2011 from Clayton High School and is now studying Music Education at Campbell University. She will be a junior this fall.  

Tori has been playing the flute for 10 years, and is currently studying with Catherine LeGrand at Campbell. She aspires to be an elementary school music teacher. Tori is a member of the North Carolina Teaching Fellows Program. She is also a member of the Campbell University Band Staff. She loves to perform and is grateful to her parents, Les and Jennifer Howell, for supporting her in her development as a flute player.

Catherine Hamner (right photo) received her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees at UNC-Chapel Hill, with additional study at Florida State University and in Europe.

Upon completion of her master’s degree, she was invited to perform a Mozart piano concerto with the NC Symphony on tour.  Years later, she conducted two operas with the NC Symphony: Cosi fan tutte, by Mozart and La Perichole, by Offenbach.  Mrs. Hamner spent a summer Music Directing the Cleveland Lyric Opera Company’s apprentice program and playing in the main stage pit orchestra under the baton of Benton Hess.

For 13 years she toured 35 states with the National Opera Company, performing opera in English to both child and adult audiences.  First as Accompanist and then as Music Director/Tour Director, she took opera into the heartland of America.  She studied opera conducting under the late Georg Tintner in Opava, Czech Republic.  Catherine has accompanied for master classes for Nico Castel (Metropolitan Opera diction coach/character tenor), renowned baritone William Stone, mezzo-soprano Judith Christen, and the late acting teacher Wesley Balk.  She also accompanied scenes programs directed by both Nico and Carol Castel.

Currently Catherine enjoys spending much of her time as a Staff Accompanist at Campbell University, and she is in demand throughout the area as a collaborative pianist.

The Music for the Lunch Bunch is a series of summer concerts held every Wednesday, at 12:15 pm, featuring local artists performing a variety of music, with particular emphasis on classical music.  The concert series is grassroots funded by the Johnston County Arts Council and the North Carolina Arts Council.  There is no admission charge but donations are accepted.    For additional information on upcoming performances, please contact

the Johnston County Arts Council at 919-938-0306.

Andrews Appointed To JCC Board Of Trustees

W.E. Bud Andrews is the newest member of the JCC Board of Trustees. Pictured (left to right) Andrews receives his oath of office from Johnston Clerk of Court Will R. Crocker.

W.E. Bud Andrews has been appointed by Gov. Pat McCrory to serve a four-year term on the Johnston Community College Board of Trustees.

A retired colonel in the National Guard, Andrews is also a retired senior vice president with First Citizens Bank. He earned his bachelor’s degree in sociology from Campbell College, now Campbell University. He continued his studies and graduated from the U.S. Army War College.

An Eagle Scout, Andrews is a lifetime Jaycee, a life member of the Greater Smithfield-Selma Area Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Central Johnston County Rotary, the American Legion, and the Loyal Order of the Moose. He also serves as a trustee of Goldsboro Friends Meeting, where he attends church. Some of his accolades include being named the Greater Smithfield-Selma Area Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Citizen and Citizen of the Year, a Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary International, and receiving the Governor’s Award for Volunteerism and the Order of the Long Leaf Pine.

“The community college is where the rubber hits the road to people who need retraining and the younger people who want to go to college and stay in the area,” Andrews said. “I am looking forward and am excited about the opportunity to add gas to their fire.”

Andrews and his wife, Dianne, live in Smithfield. They have two grown children and three grandchildren.

Andrews replaces Robert W. “Bob” Bryant, Jr. whose term ended in 2014. Bryant served as a college trustee for 15 years. Andrews was officially welcomed and received his oath of office July 10 at the regular board meeting.

Autopsy: Fuquay Varina Men Died From Gunshot Wounds

The Wake County Sheriff’s Office is treating the shooting deaths of two Fuquay Varina residents as a double homicide.

Around 1 o’clock Saturday afternoon, deputies responded to a call on Howard Road, outside of Fuquay Varina. Deputies found the bodies of 66 year-old David Eugene McKoy and 78 year-old Arthur Lee Brown, both residents at that address, dead inside the home.

A preliminary autopsy from the State Medical Examiner’s Office indicated both McKoy and Brown died from gunshot wounds.

Sheriff’s investigators have not released any additional information about the possible suspect or suspects in the case. Photo courtesy JoCoFire.com

Fugitive From Pennsylvania Arrested In Clayton

Following a tip from Pennsylvania State Police, a Clayton woman was arrested on a fugitive warrant Wednesday.

Clayton Police received a tip Frances Minelle Bracer Comulada was at an address on Commodore Street.  Comulada was wanted by Pennsylvania authorities for grand larceny.

Police checked the address on Commodore Street Tuesday but could not find the 36 year-old woman. Police returned to the residence on Wednesday and located Comulada, according to Town of Clayton Public Information Officer Stacy Beard.

She was transported to the Johnston County Jail and held without bond on the fugitive warrant pending extradition to Pennsylvania.

Johnston Man Charged In Cary Fraud Case

A Johnston County man has been arrested by Cary Police on a fraud charge.

Shaun Michael Hickey, 26, of Dixie Drive, Selma was arrested Saturday by Selma Police. 

According to Cary Police, Hickey went to Lowes Home Improvement on Walnut Street in Cary on June 30 or July 1.  He reportedly purchased two power washers, valued at $450 and $713, through the business account of a company he no longer worked for, according to Captain Don Hamilton with the Cary Police Criminal Investigations Division.     

Captain Hamilton said one of the two power washers was later recovered.

Hickey was charged with one felony count of obtaining property by false pretenses.  He was given a $20,000 bond on the charge and ordered to appear in Wake County District Court

Police: Man Doing Jumping Jacks, Push-Ups In Roadway Arrested On Meth Charges
Selma police officers responded to an unusual 911 call on July 8. A person called 911 reportedly claiming they witnessed a man had stopped his vehicle in the middle of the highway, got out, and started doing jumping jacks and push-ups.  The man then got back into his car, traveled a short distance, got out of his car again, and continued doing more jumping jacks and push-ups.

Selma Police said they located Danny Ray Hodge, 42, of John Street, Goldsboro on his hands and knees beside Jones Street. 

Officers said once Jones spotted police he ran back to his car and got in the drivers seat.

During a search of his vehicle, Detective S.C. Richardson said a jewelry box was located. Inside the box were 6 small baggies, each containing suspected methamphetamines.

Detective Richardson said Hodge was currently on probation and wearing a GPS tracking device, and had been out of prison about 3 years.

Richardson said the suspect had a lengthy criminal history for rape, kidnapping, larceny, and drug possession.

Hodge was charged with possession with intent to sell and deliver meth, and maintaining a vehicle to keep a controlled substance. He was confined in the Johnston County Jail under a $40,000 bond.

“Methamphetamine has became an epidemic in the United States and this drug effects communities, big and small, including towns like Selma,” Detective Richardson told WTSB News. “Until regulations can be made to control pseudophedrine, which is the main ingredient in making of methamphetamine, the methamphetamine epidemic is going to turn catastrophic.”

Richardson said citizens should not hesitate to call 911 if you suspect or know someone that is cooking or selling methamphetamine. “Coming together as a community is one way to combat this methamphetamine epidemic.”

Clayton Considers Its Options Regarding County Recreation Grant
The Town of Clayton is weighing its options regarding its application for a Johnston County recreation grant.

Parks and Recreation Director Larry Bailey (pictured left) told the Town Council this week that Johnston County Commissioners has set aside $17,113 in Open Space funds for the Clayton High School district.

In addition to municipalities, the County will also consider awarding grant funds to public schools, and rural athletic associations.

Those who receive grant funds from the county must contribute at 5% match.

The Open Space Funds may be used to purchase, develop, or improve existing or new properties for recreational use.
Bailey proposed the Town to either consider applying for funds to expand the parking lot at the Sam’s Branch Greenway on North O’Neill Street or the development of additional pickleball courts.

Bailey said pickleball is popular especially among senior adults who are no longer able to play tennis.

Pickleball is a racquet sport, which combines elements of badminton, tennis, and table tennis.

According to the USA Pickleball Association, there are now over 100,000 players actively playing pickleball. 

Johnston 4-H Youth Participates In State Livestock Judging Contest

Top Right (Left ro right) Deborah Johnson, CEO of the NC Pork Council, Johnston 4-H Junior team members Justin Wood, Brittany Beasley, MaKayla Byrd and Katelyn Brewer, and Johnston County Livestock Agent, Dan Wells. (Lower right) Deborah Johnson CEO of the NC Pork Council, and Johnston 4-H Senior team members , Macy Massengill, Joy Leigh Hinnant, Kelsey Bentley, and Johnston County Livestock Agent Dan Wells.

The Johnston County 4-H Livestock Judging Team recently participated in the state 4-H Livestock Judging Contest at North Carolina State University.

Junior participants (ages 9-13) from Johnston County included Kaleb and MaKayla Byrd of Smithfield, Brittany Beasley and Taylor Rhodes of Four Oaks, Justin and Mary Elaine Wood of Willow Springs, Kadence Overby of Selma, and Katelyn Brewer of Wendell.

In the Senior division (ages 14-18,) Macy Massengill of Princeton, Joy Leigh Hinnant and Kelsey Bentley of Kenly, and Travis Anderson, Rachel Murphy and Sarah Allen of Four Oaks represented Johnston County.

The Junior A Team consisting of MaKayla Byrd, Justin Wood, Brittany Beasley and Katelyn Brewer ranked fifth in Sheep, third in Meat Goats, and first in Beef, Swine and Reasons on their way to a first Overall finish. The Junior B Team of Kaleb Byrd, Mary Elaine Wood, Kadence Overby and Taylor Rhodes ranked fifth in Swine and fourth in Oral Reasons. In individual Overall rankings, Kadence Overby was ninth, Brittany Beasley fifth, and MaKayla Byrd was first.

The Senior A Team of Joy Leigh Hinnant, Kelsey Bentley and Macy Massengill was second in Meat Goats and Swine, and first in every other category for a decisive first place Overall Team finish. 

In a nearly unprecedented showing, the Senior A Team members ranked first through third in individual Overall rankings, with Joy Leigh Hinnant first, Kelsey Bentley second and Macy Massengill third, respectively. The Senior B Team of Travis Anderson, Sarah Allen and Rachel Murphy won fifth in Sheep and fourth in Swine and Oral Reasons.

Wiley Graduates From Infantry Training
Army Pvt. Matthew B. Wiley has graduated from basic infantry training at Fort Benning, Columbus, Ga.

During the nine weeks of training, the soldier received training in drill and ceremonies, weapons, map reading, tactics, military courtesy, military justice, physical fitness, first aid, and Army history, core values and traditions. Additional training included development of basic combat skills and battlefield operations and tactics, and experiencing use of various weapons and weapons defenses available to the infantry crewman.

Wiley is the son of Roosevelt and husband of Shaunisha Wiley of Selma. He is a 2008 graduate of Hugh M. Cummings High School in Burlington.

Suspect Suffers Heart Attack After Being Detained By Police
A man who went inside the West Smithfield McDonald’s Tuesday night causing a disturbance is now in the hospital in intensive care.

Smithfield Police have not released the name of the suspect but say he was a wanted felon from Dunn.

Around 9pm, Smithfield Police were called to the fast food restaurant after the suspect reportedly went inside and became extremely belligerent. Before officers arrived, the suspect took a cane from an elderly man then threatened employees.

Officers arrived and said after the suspect refused to obey their commands, he was tasered and pepper sprayed with no effect.

Police were finally able to subdue the man and taken him to Johnston Medical Center in Smithfield for evaluation. While in the Emergency Department, Police Lt. R.K. Powell said the man continued being combative with medical personnel and a short time later suffered a heart attack.

The man is now in intensive care in serious but stable condition.

Lt. Powell said the suspect appeared to have been intoxicated or on some form of narcotics. 

Misdemeanor charges are pending from the McDonald’s incident. 

Police said the man was wanted by Harnett County authorities for breaking and entering, common law robbery, possession of stolen property, robbery with a dangerous weapon, conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon, and possession of a firearm by a felon.  

Lt. Powell said police are temporarily withholding the man’s name so relatives can be notified of his whereabouts and medical condition.

Repaving Project To Impact Downtown Smithfield Traffic
Motorists who travel along Market Street through Downtown Smithfield may want to find an alternate route of travel due to a repaving project.

Weather permitting, highway crews will resurface Market Street from Brightleaf Boulevard (US301) to the Neuse River Bridge.

The work will take place beginning Thursday between 7pm until 7am and continue for the next 5 nights, or until completed.

During the nighttime work, Market Street will remain open to traffic, but cars will not be able to park in on-street parking.  Drivers can also expect to experience some delays and should use an alternate route if possible. 2012 File Photo

Clayton Honors Retired Firefighter

(L to R) Retired Clayton firefighter Jason Barbour receives a proclamation from Mayor Jody McLeod thanking Barbour for over 22 years of service to the Town. WTSB Photo

The Clayton Town Council honored retired firefighter Jason Barbour on Monday night. Barbour retired in April after over 22 years of service.

Barbour began his career with the Town of Clayton Fire Department in November 1991 and served in various officer positions within the department.

In its proclamation presented to Barbour, the Town Council said “Jason’s dedication to our community and devotion to duty has had a valuable effect on the efficiency and morale of his colleagues.”

Mayor Jody McLeod said he wished to extend to Barbour “his sincere appreciation for his outstanding performance of duty.”

Barbour is also the Johnston County 911 Director.

Benson Woman Charged With Obstructing Justice
A Johnston County woman has been charged with obstructing justice after reporting her motorcycle stolen.

In October 2013, Sharon Sells Goodwin, 48, of Noah Road, Benson reported to the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office her 2000 Harley Davidson had been stolen.  A week later, deputies charged a 37 year-old man from Newton, NC with the theft.

During a February 2014 probably cause hearing, Goodwin reportedly recanted her story and testified the suspect did have permission to have the motorcycle.

A felony larceny charge against the suspect was dropped.

Goodwin was charged Tuesday with obstructing justice, a felony offense. She was given a $10,000 secured bond on the charge.

Suspect Charged In Baseball Bat Assault
A 42 year-old man was arrested Tuesday night charged with attacking a woman with a baseball bat during a domestic altercation.

Johnston County deputies were called to a home on Carrington Drive, Garner around 10:20pm after a 43 year-old woman reported she was struck in the head with a baseball bat during a dispute with Roderick Andre McKoy of Carrington Drive.

McKoy was arrested at the scene and charged with felony assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury. 

Traffic Stop Leads To Pill Charge
A routine traffic stop on Highway 210 near McGee’s Crossroads Thursday night led to the arrest of a Wake man for alleged drug trafficking.

Around 10:18pm, a Johnston County deputy stopped a car for a traffic violation. During a search of the vehicle, a pill bottle missing a label was located. Authorities said the bottle contained 19 hydrocodone pills.

Jeffrey Wayne Brooks, 36, of Highway 97 West, Zebulon was charged with trafficking in opium or heroin. He was given a $50,000 bond on the single felony charge.


Clayton Town Clerk Resigns
Clayton Town Clerk Sherry Scoggins has resigned to become the new Cary Town Clerk.

Mayor Jody McLeod announced Scoggins’ resignation Monday night at a Clayton Town Council work session.

Scoggins has served as Clayton’s Town Clerk for 11 years, since January 21, 2003.

Mayor McLeod presented Scoggins with a proclamation approved by the Town Council and a plaque. Scoggins said she has been fortunate as Clayton’s Town Clerk to serve with dedicated elected officials.

The Town’s proclamation said, “Mrs. Scoggins made a lasting contribution to the Town of Clayton by performing all the many tasks required of a municipal clerk. During her time at the Town of Clayton, Mrs. Scoggins did whatever was necessary to assure that the Town of Clayton was just the way it should be for the benefit of all. She showed exemplary pride in every aspect of her job.”

Scoggins, age 47, was selected from a pool of 159 candidates from across the country for the Cary Town Clerk position and will assume her new duties on July 28th

The Town of Clayton has posted the Town Clerk vacancy on its website. The salary range is $46,000 to $73,000 with a typical starting salary from $46,000 to $48,500 per year. The closing date is August 1st.

Clayton Considering Bow Hunting Ordinance

(Top Left) NC Wildlife Resource Commission Sgt. Kelly Brantley told the Clayton Town Council how the urban archery program works. Clayton resident Jay Hall (Lower left) has requested town officials consider bow hunting as a way to control the growing deer popualation in the Clayton city limits. WTSB Photos

The Clayton Town Council is considering allowing bow hunting within their town limits, and with specific safety guidelines to protect residents. 

At Monday nights Town Council meeting, Mayor Jody McLeod and the council heard a presentation from Sgt. Kelly Brantley of the North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission.

Brantley said urban archery is a good way to allow hunters to put deer to good use. He said urban archery is safe and that in over 23 years he’s never had to investigate a bow-related hunting accident.

Clayton resident Jay Hall, who asked the Town Council in May to study the possibility of urban deer bow-hunting within the Town of Clayton to thin the deer population. He thanked the council for inviting Brantley and for considering the idea.

More than 40 towns across North Carolina, including Archer Lodge and Smithfield, allow the special season regulated by the state Wildlife Resources Commission.
In North Carolina, according to the state Department of Transportation, there are 20,000 animal related car accidents every year, and 90 percent of those involve deer.

JCSO: Drug, Cash Found During Vehicle Stop

A Johnston County man was arrested on drug charges Monday afternoon during a traffic stop by the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) on Highway 50 about 7 miles south of Benson.

Around 2pm, a SAFE Team sheriff’s deputy stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation. During a search of the car, authorities allegedly found 11 grams of methamphetamine, 24 grams of marijuana, drug paraphernalia, and about $1,400 in cash.

The driver, Richard Glen Turnage, 53, of Godwin Lake Road, Benson was arrested on three felony and two misdemeanor drug charges.

Turnage was booked into the Johnston County Jail under a $41,000 bond.

Hobart Award Presented To Dr. Norwood Williams

JCCF presented the 2014 Hobart award to Dr. Norwood Williams, center. He donated his gift to Serve the Need in Johnston County. Royal Williams, executive director of Serve the Need is on the left and Francis Hobart, the award's namesake, is on the right. Contributed photo
The Johnston County Community Foundation awarded the annual Frances Finch Hobart for Voluntary Community Service to Dr. Norwood Williams. The award was established in 2006 to recognize and honor the tireless efforts of Frances Finch Hobart and the countless hours of community service she has given through the years.

The intent of this award is to recognize an individual from Johnston County who demonstrates "vision, vitality, determination, selflessness, generosity and a full caring heart to his or her community."

Junior Leagues Places 2nd In State Tournament

The Johnston County Junior League team participated last week in the Tarheel State Tournament in Hickory, NC.

The team finished second in the four-day tournament losing the championship game to Shelby. 

Pictured front row from L to R: Carter Beal, Chandler Bailey, Matthew Messer, Dalton Benson, Justice Hewitt, Trey Whitley. Back row: Coach Paul Bailey, Coach Anthony McLamb, Joshua Parker, Kayne Nesbitt, Zachary McLamb, Ben Stafford, Austin Renfrow, Coach Wallace Renfrow. Contributed photo

South Johnston Skills USA Team Places In Top 10 At National Conference

South Johnston High School SkillsUSA team members on the front row (from left) are Rachel Sauls, Sydney Wheeless, Alicia Lee, McKinley Johnson, and Paige Evans (Advisor). Middle row: Destiny Norris, Kara Johnson, Dava McLamb, Taylor Lee, Avery West, Nicole Autry, Briana Williams, Carson Denning, Madison Byrd, Sarah Pierce, and Anna Webster. Back row: Caleb Cox, Ryan Dunn, Dillon Austin, Evan Raynor, and Andrew Rhodes.

Twenty-one students represented South Johnston High School and the state at the National Leadership and Skills Conference in Kansas City, Missouri the week of June 23-28.

South Johnston students competed in Chapter Business, Quiz Bowl, Outstanding Chapter, Opening and Closing, and Carpentry. The SkillsUSA team placed in the top 10 in the nation in the following contests: 7th place Carpentry, 8th place Chapter Business, and 10th place Outstanding Chapter.

Princeton Woman Killed In Selma Crash
Selma Police have asked the NC Highway Patrol to assist them with a fatal accident investigation. It happened Saturday afternoon on US70 near Industrial Park Drive.

The two-vehicle wreck claimed the life of Dana Edwards Dale, 46, of Bugshop Road, Princeton.

Police said Dale was traveling westbound on US70 around 2:08pm and was attempting to turn across the two eastbound travel lanes towards the KFC parking lot.  Her 1999 Mercury was struck in the passenger side door by an eastbound 1997 Jeep operated by Emarion Jevante Dixon, 22, of East Jones Street, Selma.

Selma Police said Dixon told officers he was traveling between 30 and 35mph at the time of the accident.

According to an accident report, Dixon told police he started into the intersection of US70 and Ricks Road/Industrial Park Drive as the traffic light was yellow. He reportedly told police, "As I went under the light, it was red.” 

Officers said Dixon told them, “I realized that I was going to hit her and let off the brakes and let it happen.”    

Police noted 100 feet of skid marks left by the Dixon’s Jeep before it struck Dale’s Mercury. 

Police estimate Dixon was traveling 57mph in a 45mph zone prior to the collision and 37mph at the time of impact. Police estimate Dale was traveling about 10mph as she attempted to turn into the parking lot.

Dixon was taken to Johnston Medical Center in Smithfield for treatment of non life-threatening injuries. Dale died at the scene from her injuries.

Police spoke with at least three witnesses to the crash.

A Highway Patrol Accident Reconstruction Team has been asked to assist police with the investigation into the fatal mishap.

So far no charges have been filed.  Contributed photo

Arrest Made In Fatal Downtown Clayton Stabbing
It didn’t take Clayton Police very long to solve their first homicide in seven years.

Around 10pm Saturday, police responded to a stabbing behind the Clayton Mart at 208 East Main Street. 

Detectives said two men were arguing when 50 year-old Carlos Luis Rubio of West First Street was stabbed twice.

The suspect, Jose Louis Ramirez Delgado, 53, of South Lombard Street, had fled from the scene on foot before police arrived.

Rubio was rushed to WakeMed but he died a short time later.

Police said they located Delgado hiding under a nearby warehouse.  He was charged with Rubio’s murder and was confined in the Johnston County Jail without bond.

3 Charged During Four Oaks Drug Bust

(L to R) Robert Leevon Williams, Olivera Danielle Amerson, and James Paul Smith all from Temple Street, Four Oaks were arrested during on drug charges during a search warrant at their home on Saturday.

Three people were arrested after the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Division executed a search warrant at a home on Temple Street in Four Oaks around 6:30pm Saturday.

27 grams of marijuana and 1 gram of cocaine were seized, according to Tammy Amaon, Public Information Officer, with the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office.

Robert Leevon Williams, 35, and Olivera Danielle Amerson, 35, were both charged with felony possession of cocaine, felony possession with intent to sell or deliver a controlled substance, felony maintaining a vehicle or dwelling for a controlled substance, and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.

James Paul Smith, 56, of the same address, was charged with misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance. 

Downtown Gas Leak Prompts Evacuation
Several homes and a church were evacuated Saturday morning in Downtown Clayton after a resident mistakenly cut a natural gas line while working on a fence.

The incident happened just before 10am in the 200 block of South Church Street.

All nearby homes in the block and several people at Horne Memorial United Methodist Church were evacuated as a precaution. 

The Clayton Fire Department stood by at the scene and Clayton Police assisted with traffic control. 

Piedmont Natural Gas workers responded and capped off the line a short time later.  Photo courtesy JoCoFire.com 

Teen Injured In Crash
A teenager was seriously injured in a single car accident Friday afternoon in the 200 block of Lee Road.

The young driver was found on the ground beside her overturned car. 

The victim was taken to WakeMed for treatment of her injuries. 

The NC Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.  Photo courtesy JoCoFire.com


Suspect Accused Of Attacking Man With Rake During Attempted Auto Theft
A Four Oaks man is facing several charges after he reportedly attacked a Smithfield man with a rake while trying to steal the victim’s van.

Around 10pm Friday, Smithfield Police said they were called to a home in the 900 block of South Brightleaf Boulevard. 

Captain Bruce Gentry said the suspect, David Callejas Arroyo, 33, of Boyette Road, Four Oaks went to the address and was in the process of trying to steal a van. The 59 year-old homeowner confronted Arroyo who allegedly fought back, striking the victim in the head with a rake.

Arroyo was still on the scene sitting in the van when officers arrived.

He was charged with felony breaking and entering a motor vehicle, felony assault with a deadly weapon, and misdemeanor resisting a public officer.  

DWI Suspect Accused Of Damaging Farmers Crop
Smithfield Police arrested the driver of a pickup early Sunday morning for allegedly driving drunk and four wheeling through a farmers soybean field near his residence.

Officers were called to Barbour Road in West Smithfield around 3am for a truck driving recklessly in a field. 

Police Captain Bruce Gentry said the suspect, Lucas Tyler Davis, 25, also of Barbour Road, Smithfield was located and arrested.

Davis registered 0.18 on the Breathalyzer, more than double the legal limit of 0.08 in North Carolina.

Police said Davis caused about $5,000 in damage to the soybean crop of Wayne Barefoot of Four Oaks.

Davis was charged with driving while impaired, damage to property, and trespassing. Bail was set at $6,500. Davis was also given a court date of August 6th on the charges.

Smithfield Man Charged With DWI

A 31 year-old Smithfield man is facing drunk driving charges after being stopped by Smithfield Police around 12:11am Saturday. 

Officers stopped a vehicle in the 1500 block of East Market Street for a traffic violation.

The driver, Jerome Dannel Sanders of East Davis Street, Smithfield was charged with DWI.  Police Captain Bruce Gentry said Sanders registered 0.15 on the Breathalyzer, above the legal limit of 0.08 in NC.

Sanders was later released on a $1,500 bond pending an August 7th court appearance.

Neuse Little Theatre Holds Awards Ceremony
A large crowd attended the Neuse Little Theater's (NLT) recent membership meeting and awards ceremony marking its 40th season. 

Cannon Awards for outstanding acting were as follows: Best Actor, Darius Rose of Smithfield and Best Supporting Actor, Reg Parker of Four Oaks, for their roles in "Sex Please, We're Sixty"; Best Actress, Nancy Gibbs of Four Oaks, Best Supporting Actress, Francis Stanley of Garner, Best Supporting Actor (tie) Darius Rose and Best Cameo Performance, Mary George Narron of Smithfield for their roles in "The Red Velvet Cake War"; Daniel Collier (tie) Best Cameo Performance for his role in "A Little Murder Never Hurt Anybody".

NLT president Ruth Mills presented the President's Award to 9 year-old Jake Roberson of Clayton for his role in "The Music Man".

Meta Toole of Smithfield was honored for directing "Sex Please, We're Sixty", voted best show of the season. She also was presented an NLT Lifetime Membership for outstanding work with the theater for a number of years.

Other awards went to Anita Liverman and Bridget Reid, Volunteers of the Year; Betty Harris, Newcomer Award; Theressa Rose, Above and Beyond Award; and Tyler Langston, Out of the Limelight Award.

The NLT's 41st season will begin in September with "Auntie Mame", directed by Ruth Mills. Other shows will be "Wait Until Dark" in November; "Blithe Spirit" in February; "Death of a Salesman" in April; and "Last of the Red Hot Lovers"; in May.

State Fair Tickets Go On Sale Aug. 1

State Fair concert tickets and discounted admission tickets and ride sheets will go on sale at 10 a.m., Friday, Aug. 1, at www.ncstatefair.org

Concert ticket prices ranging from $5 to $17. Advance admission tickets are $7 for adults and $3 for children. These prices reflect a savings of $2 per adult gate admission ticket and $1 per child’s gate admission. Adult admission tickets for groups of 40 or more are $5. The child group ticket for groups of 40 or more will sell for $2.

Children 5 and under and adults 65 and over get in free. Members of the military and family members with proper ID can purchase tickets at the gate for $5, but not in advance.  An 18-ticket ride sheet is $10 in advance, saving fairgoers $8 off the regular price.

Fairgoers can also take advantage of the Early Bird Special during the month of August. Ticket buyers can earn up to three free adult admission tickets based on the total purchase amount in a single order before convenience fees. Spending between $50 and $100 earns one free ticket. Purchases of $100.01 to $200 will earn fairgoers two free tickets, and purchases of more than $200 earn three free tickets.

Online admission, ride, grandstand and Dorton Arena concert tickets apply toward the Early Bird Special purchase total and orders must be completed before 11:59 p.m. on Aug. 31.

Police Investigating Report Of Sexual Assault At Smithfield Rest Home
Smithfield Police are investigating the alleged sexual assault of a patient in a local rest home.

WTSB News has learned a disabled female patient at Smithfield House West, located at 303 Hospital Road, was in her room around 5:30 Wednesday morning. Police said the woman was awakened by a man in her bed who was sexually assaulting her.

At least one other patient confirmed seeing the man as he fled out the door, according to Smithfield Police Lt. R.K. Powell.

Police said the victim and witness did not recognize the individual.

Wes King, a manager with the NC Division of Aging and Adult Services in Raleigh, said he could not comment as to whether his department is investigating the incident, or whether it had been reported to state officials by the facility. 

Anyone with information about the sexual assault of a patient at Smithfield House West is asked to contact Smithfield Police at 919-934-2121 or the Smithfield Police Tip Line at 919-989-8835. 

Momentum Building For Miracle Project

The Town of Smithfield has been awarded a NC Parks & Recreation Trust Fund Grant to fund the “Partnership to Build a Miracle” project. Partnership to Build a Miracle is a large natural park that allows children of all abilities to play together and a baseball field designed for children with special needs. The park and ball field will be the only recreational space of its kind in all of Johnston County.

Sixty-four local government were seeing funding. Only 17 projects received grants totaling $4.1 million. Smithfield ranked eighth out of the 17 projects to received funding.
The $350,000 grant, Smithfield’s fifth from the Parks & Rec Trust Fund in 19 years, will allow groundbreaking for the project to begin on schedule in August.

Partnership to Build a Miracle was recently named a semi-finalist in the nationwide, Guarantee Rate Ty Pennington Giveback challenge and is the result of four years of effort by a dedicated group of volunteers and two non-profits, the Partnership for Children and the Miracle League, both of Johnston County.

Campaign chair Chris Key said, “I got involved in this when I met a mom who had a child with special needs and one without. She said she couldn’t take her kids to parks because one could play and the other had to sit and watch. I knew we had to change that.”

There are an estimated 4500 children with special needs in Johnston County and the community has come together to support the project. The land was generously provided by the Town of Smithfield, and donations from individuals, businesses, civic organizations and the faith community helped make the dream a reality.

The core team of Chris Key, Dwight Morris, Zach Thornton, Monty McLamb and Beth Moore, along with the staff and families of both non-profits and other volunteers, have persevered for four years to build this miracle. Without their vision and commitment, the park would be nothing more than a dream.

“I can’t believe it’s finally happening,” says Beth Moore. “Every family in Johnston County will love the park and field. And for the families of children with special needs, it really is a miracle.”

Partnership to Build a Miracle is a collaborative effort between the Partnership for Children of Johnston County and the Miracle League of Johnston County to build an Inclusion Park and Miracle Field for children of all abilities in Smithfield.

Smithfield Man Beaten, Robbed
A Smithfield man was beaten and robbed while walking home Thursday night.

Shortly before 9pm, the 31 year-old man said he was walking near the intersection of Packing Plant Road and Galilee Road when he was struck from behind. The victim fell to the ground and was kicked repeatedly. The man said he was robbed of a knife and a necklace. 

Smithfield Police Lt. R.K. Powell said there may have been 3 suspects involved in the robbery. Officers are looking for witnesses to the incident.

The victim was taken to the hospital for treatment of his injuries.  

Benson Carlie C’s Robbed

Employee sprays suspects with Lysol

Benson Police are currently on the lookout for three suspects in connection with the armed robbery of Carlie C’s IGA. The suspects, wearing wigs and masks, entered the store last Saturday night around 10pm

A store employee said she initially noticed only two suspects — one reached over the customer service area divider, where the safe is located, and opened it. The other suspect yelled, “Everybody don’t move! Get down.”

The employee told police she met the two suspects at the door and sprayed them with a can of Lysol, but they continued out of the store to meet a third suspect. 

The three men were last seen running through a field behind Wal-Mart Express, adjacent to the grocery store. An undisclosed amount of money was taken from the store safe. 

The three suspects reportedly had on book bags, basketball shorts and black coats.

Benson Police Lt. Greg Percy said the investigation remains ongoing.  Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Benson Police Department at (919) 894-2091. Courtesy The Daily Record

Reward Offered In Clayton Pawn Shop Break-In
Clayton Police need your help catching two suspects who broke into a local pawnshop and stole more than $2,000 in jewelry.

The Clayton Pawn Shop at 10522 US 70 Business West was broken into around 4:30am last Friday, July 11th.  Police responded to a burglar alarm and found the front door broken open and the items missing.

Surveillance video shows the suspects, wearing masks and armed with a crow bar, make their way through the store.

Anyone who may recognize the suspects or has information about the break-in is asked to contact Clayton Police Detective J.P. Linder at 919-553-4611or contact Clayton Crime Stoppers at 359-TIPZ (8479) where a cash reward is being offeredfor information that leads to the arrest of the suspects.  Callers can remain anonymous. 

April Murphy Named Officer Of The Month

(L to R) District Attorney Susan Doyle presents the Law Enforcement Officer of the Month Award to Johnston County Probation Officer April Dean Murphy. Contributed photo

April Dean Murphy, a probation officer with Johnston County Probation and Parole has been named the July Law Enforcement Officer of the Month.

The recognition is from Johnston County District Attorney Susan Doyle. Each month, Doyle and her office recognize an officer for their hard work and dedication to the citizens of the county.

Doyle said, “Officer Murphy serves in a completely thankless job, yet finds a way to be positive every day.  She treats all of the defendants she supervises on probation with respect and genuinely cares about their well being.  She is such a shining star in the courthouse.” 

“She has gained the respect of judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys for how conscientious she is on each and every case.  She deserves to be recognized for her amazing attitude and the exceptional way that she performs a very difficult and demanding job,” Doyle said.

Murphy received her recognition during a session of Probation Violation Court before Judge Resson Faircloth.

Murphy is originally from Mount Olive but now lives in Clayton.  She has been working with probation for 11 years.

Ramirez Completes Basic Training
Army National Guard Pfc. Justin L. Ramirez has graduated from basic infantry training at Fort Benning, Columbus, Ga.

During the nine weeks of training, the soldier received training in drill and ceremonies, weapons, map reading, tactics, military courtesy, military justice, physical fitness, first aid, and Army history, core values and traditions.  Additional training included development of basic combat skills and battlefield operations and tactics, and experiencing use of various weapons and weapons defenses available to the infantry crewman.

Ramirez is the son of Nanette Jimenez of Fayetteville, NC and Joe Ramirez of Rock Hill, SC. He is a 2009 graduate of Clayton High School.

Man Accused Of Pulling Gun During Road Rage Altercation
A Garner man has been arrested on charges of going armed to the terror of the public after reportedly pulling a gun on another man in the parking lot of Wal-Mart on Highway 42 in the Cleveland community.

Johnston County Sheriff Captain D. Johnson said it began as a road rage incident around 9am Wednesday that spilled over into the parking lot of the business.

Milton Earl Carey, 50, of Richard Drive, Garner was allegedly engaged in a verbal confrontation with the other party when deputies said he pulled out a gun and pointed it at the individual.

Carey was still in the parking lot when deputies arrived. He was charged with going armed to the terror of the public and assault by pointing a gun. The other person involved in the incident was not physically harmed.