PUBLISHED ONLINE AUGUST 22, 2019   •   VOL. 1, NO. 34

Stories and photos by Wingate Lassiter
unless otherwise noted

School board's practices invite mistrust

River Rat Regatta canceled,
yet one ship sailed nonetheless

It all begins anew on Monday

The long, hot summer is not quite over. Yet the end of the summer break for Johnston County's schools is upon us.

All the county's traditional public schools start the fall semester on Monday, August 26 --- the earliest date allowed under current North Carolina law (Neuse Charter School is an exception: its semester began August 12). The fall semester for traditional schools ends December 20. The spring semester starts January 7 and ends May 29, which is also High School Graduation Day.

Here's the link to the school system's various calendars>
NOTE: All Smithfield-area schools operate under the "Restart" calendars.

Smithfield-Selma High School will begin weekday classes at 7:05 a.m.
Under the "4 block" system, class sessions are 90 minutes in length, with the last class of the day ending at 2 p.m.
Smithfield Middle School will start classes at 7:50 a.m.
The school day will end at 3:15 p.m.
South Smithfield, West Smithfield, and Wilson's Mills elementary schools
will begin classes at 8:45, with dismissal from school at 4 p.m.

Smithfield Middle School has a new principal this year:
LaShunda Faison, who served as assistant principal there the past two years.
Returning principals are:
David Allen at Smithfield-Selma High, beginning his third year as principal.
Laura Makey at South Smithfield, in her second year as principal.
Sharon Bryant at West Smithfield Elementary, also in her second year.
Andrea Jones
at Wilson's Mills Elementary, in her fifth year as principal there.

Smfld Middle
South Smfld
West Smfld
Wilson's Mills

Technology seems to be at the forefront of American life these days, so it's no surprise that one of the new tools available in Johnston County this school year is the Here Comes the Bus "app" --- an online service enabling parents to keep track of a child's school bus in "real time." Here's the link to the school system's web page with details, including how to download the app>

All students attending Smithfield Middle, South Smithfield Elementary, and West Smithfield Elementary will receive free breakfast and lunch meals this year, bypassing the normal process of parents having to qualify their children for free or reduced-price meals based on household income.

Johnston County Public Schools maintains websites for each of our schools, and there you can see who their teachers are. You can open a directory of each school's staff by clicking the "CLASSROOMS" link at the top of the main page; then click the name of each person to find out what they're teaching....

Here are the links to the websites of Smithfield-area schools:
Smithfield-Selma High School>
Smithfield Middle School>
South Smithfield Elementary>
West Smithfield Elementary>
Wilson's Mills Elementary>

NOTE: At the bottom of the home page of the Johnston County Public Schools website you'll find a link entitled "select a school" that opens a directory with links to all of Johnston's public schools.

"Trusted by families since 1977"

Smithfield-Selma's marching Spartans are shown in action earlier this week as they prepared to perform during Friday night's opening game of the football season.

MORE about the band on the FEATURE PAGE>

High-school football season already? 

Play starts two Fridays before Labor Day

The games begin this Friday (August 23) across North Carolina --- three days before the start of high-school classes --- and continue Friday week (August 30), ahead of the Labor Day holiday.

Smithfield-Selma's football Spartans open their season at home
against Spring Creek High from neighboring Wayne County.
Game time at Charles Tucker Stadium is 7 p.m.
Admission is $7, same as it has been in recent years. Students are being offered tickets for $5 to attend the opening game of the season.

SSS varsity football roster on MaxPreps>

SSS varsity football schedule on MaxPreps>

This week's high-school soccer and volleyball results
on the SPORTS & RECREATION page>




A new bistro inside the Dupree House

Gabriella Connelly (left) and her mother, Barbara Wallen, are co-owners of Chefella's --- a combination restaurant, catering, and event-planning business making a new home inside the historic Dupree House at 709 South Third Street in Smithfield. They started the business three years ago in Clayton and will keep their main office there. The Smithfield location will house a bistro open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 5-9 p.m. Saturday. It's also available for party rentals. Tracy Snyder is the general manager. There's also a day spa and beauty salon on the premises. For more information, visit>

Johnston Community College news

• JCC's "Chef Judy" is $10,000
   winner on TV's
Food Network
Read the story on JCC's website>
JCC machining students excel
   in national SkillsUSA competition
Read the story on JCC's website>

• JCC awards diplomas to grads
   of adult high-school programs
Read the story on JCC's website>


212 E. Church Street  •  919-934-1121  •

Spring Branch wetlands under repair

Damaged by Hurricane Matthew almost three years ago, the wetlands restoration area along Spring Branch below South Second Street is being restored yet again. J.P. Edwards, Inc. is doing the work for the Town of Smithfield at a cost of $235,510. Included in the project is removal of silt from the "forebay," removal of sediment from pipes, restoration of a berm, and construction of a new concrete "weir" in place of an earthen dam built to
divert stream flow. Planting of new vegetation will come next. The project's scope required approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The original wetlands-restoration project was done after hurricanes Fran and Floyd topped numerous trees and produced record-setting floods in the late 1990s.