issued Thursday , December 6, 2018

Johnston County is buying land for a proposed new jail
away from the Courthouse in Downtown Smithfield. The County Commissioners on Monday approved the purchase of property northeast of the intersection of U.S. 70 Business and Yelverton Grove Road east of I-95. Moseley Architects, a multi-state company with offices in Raleigh, is developing plans for the complex, which initially will include beds for 400 inmates and could eventually house quarters for the Sheriff's Department, Emergency Medical Services, and 911 Communications. The jail itself could be expanded to 600 beds as need arises. Moseley estimates the new jail could be ready for inmates 38 months from now. That would be in early 2022.

Novo Nordisk will get incentives in the form of property-tax relief from the county to help finance another expansion: this one adding 22 jobs with average salary of $58,000 to more than 1,000 employees already at work at its manufacturing campus east of Clayton. Johnston's County Commissioners on Monday approved an agreement to award tax rebates for the project to expand the company's Diabetes Finished Products Facility. Novo Nordisk is best known as one of the world's leading producers of insulin. The Clayton operation is just 10 miles from the heart of Smithfield.

New leaders of the Johnston County Board
of Commissioners
are Chairman Ted Godwin of Hawkins Road north of Selma (at right in photo)

and Vice Chairman Chad Stewart of Four Oaks (left). Mr. Godwin previously served as vice chairman under Chairman Jeff Carver of Clayton, who remains on the board. The two were elected to their new positions on Monday by the reconstituted Board of Commissioners, which welcomed three newly elected members: Patrick Harris of Smithfield, Butch Lawter of Clayton, and Tony Braswell of Pine Level (a former commissioner). Larry Wood of Oliver's Grove Road south of Four Oaks is also a member of the board.

For the board clerk's highlights of other items of business handled by the County Commissioners on Monday, click here (and scroll down to the December 3 links to both the morning and evening sessions of the board).


producer of the Smithfield Weekly Sun and the Smithfield-Selma Sun

Smithfield is annexing a proposed subdivision site adjacent to West Smithfield Elementary School. Navaho Investment Company, which requested the annexation, plans to build 60-80 houses on the 33-acre tract that lies between Highway 210 and Galilee Road. After Planning Director Stephen Wensman reported his finding that the town would incur "no significant cost" in providing water service and police protection for this addition to Smithfield's property-tax base, the Town Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to approve the "satellite annexation" (the land is not contiguous to current town limits).

Another subdivision site west of town got preliminary approval from the Smithfield Council on Tuesday. Last Investment LLC is proposing a 110-lot residential development on about 100 acres southwest of the intersection of Cleveland Road (S.R. 1010) and Swift Creek Road. The site is well beyond the town limits yet lies within Smithfield's extraterritorial jurisdiction. The council's approval came following assurances from the developer and adjacent property owners that public access to an old family cemetery behind the proposed subdivision would be legalized.

Smithfield has hired a marketing and communications specialist who will start work here in mid-December, Town Manager Mike Scott announced at Tuesday's council session.
Items approved on the council's "consent agenda" included appointment of Connie Barbour to the Appearance Commission, Rachel Ayers to the Historic Properties Commission, and the reappointment of Mark Lane to the Board of Adjustment and the Planning Board as a representative of the town's extraterritorial jurisdiction.

To view the full agenda along with extensive backup material for this week's Smithfield Town Council meeting, click here.

The Neuse River has remained above flood stage
for more than a week now, but the latest forecast from the National Weather Service shows the water level dropping below flood today (Thursday). Apparently this "controlled flooding" is the result of a steady release of impounded water from Falls Lake north of Raleigh by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The lake in recent weeks has been holding back unusually high volumes of runoff from heavy rainfalls in the region northwest of us.

Follow this link to get the official forecast as well as history of local flooding on the Neuse at Smithfield....

This week's flooding at Smithfield inundated the boat ramp as well as the Buffalo Creek Greenway, leaving little room for intrepid fishermen to try their luck.

Carolyn Ennis, long-time Smithfield educator,
is this year's recipient of the Francis Finch Hobart Volunteer of the Year Award, presented annually by the Johnston County Community Foundation. To read a transcript of the award presentation, follow this link....

Pictured at the Johnston Community Foundation's annual awards celebration are (left to right) award benefactor Frances Finch (Frankie) Hobart, award recipient Carolyn Ennis, award presenter Susan Lassiter, and John Hobart.


The Johnston County Board of Education
at its monthly meeting next Tuesday (December 11) the report recently completed by the Julius L. Chambers Center for Civil Rights on re-segregation of Smithfield-Selma's public schools. The report was done at the request of Concerned Citizens for Successful Schools, a local independent committee that has been monitoring our schools since 2012. Mark Dorosin of the Center for Civil Rights presented the report to the Smithfield Town Council in November. The center was started by the UNC School of Law but is now an independent, non-profit organization.

The full agenda for next Tuesday's school board meeting had not been posted as of this writing, less than a week before the regularly scheduled meeting. Here's the link to the page on the Johnston County Schools website where agendas and meetings may be viewed.

Smithfield's LuLong Ogburn (second from right), competing as Miss North Carolina, was Second Runner-Up in the Miss America Pageant of 1951. LuLong Ogburn Medlin, who still resides in Smithfield, remains a statewide celebrity in the minds of many who remember those days.

For more information about our community, including links to local government websites as well as up-to-date links to local economic data, obituaries, the weather, and other stuff, visit our "online newspaper" via the link shown above. The Smithfield-Selma Sun's website is a carry-over from a printed publication we produced in the late 1990s prior to the coming of age of the Internet.

And, if you'd like to see how other media are covering our community, here are links to the only two organizations currently giving us any regular attention (The News & Observer has abandoned systematic coverage of Johnston County):
WTSB Radio
Johnstonian News
--- Wingate Lassiter, editor & publisher    

NOTE: The links below are not yet active.

Copyright 2018 Hometown Heritage Publishing Inc. All rights reserved.

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