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A SUMMERTIME DIGEST EDITION
THIS IS THE MAIN PAGE (without the usual front-page link)


Thursday, July 8, 2021
Stories and photos by Wingate Lassiter
unless otherwise noted


 

Town's council and mayoral election March 8

At its regular monthly meeting Tuesday evening, the Smithfield Town Council set March 8, 2022 as the date for this year's delayed election of four council members and the mayor. In other action, the council established the celebration of Juneteenth as an annual observance here and honored the Police Department's "Officer of the Year" and the Fire Department's chief who recently retired.

READ MORE about Tuesday's session of the Town Council>

 



Screenshot from Centenary's YouTube archive>

Centenary Methodists receive a new pastor

Steve McElroy preached his first sermon as the new Senior Pastor of Centenary United Methodist Church last Sunday, the Fourth of July.

He comes to Smithfield from Roanoke Rapids and previously served as pastor of Methodist churches in Raleigh, Chapel Hill, Nashville (N.C.), Pinehurst, and Currituck County. His wife, Lori Higgins, is a Methodist minister who serves as a chaplain at Raleigh's Springmoor Retirement Community. They have four grown children.

Rev. McElroy succeeds William Holliday, who has been reassigned to Hampstead United Methodist Church just north of Wilmington.

 



Triangle East Chamber is losing its leader

Mike Mancuso, employed three years ago as CEO of the Smithfield-Selma Chamber of Commerce, is leaving later this month to take on a new job as "executive director for a community foundation out of state," according to the announcement from the Chamber.

Mr. Mancuso came from a job in Ohio in February 2018 to lead the Chamber into a new era, re-branding it as the Triangle East Chamber that now embraces the commercial interests of nine Johnston County communities: Archer Lodge, Cleveland, Kenly, Micro, Pine Level, Princeton, and Wilson's Mills as well as Smithfield and Selma. His last day on the job here is July 23.
 


 
 
CORONAVIRUS
weekly
measurements
Case total
since 3-2020 
(last week)
Deaths
since 3-2020 
(last week)
Hospital
patients

(last week)
Fully
vaccinated

(last week)
JOHNSTON COUNTY 21,994
(21,848)
241
(241)
16
(14)
77,458: 37%*
(76,422)
NORTH CAROLINA 1,016,262
(1,013,689)
13,460
(13,437)
415
(393)
4,520,202: 43%*
(4,466,471)
UNITED STATES 33,853,462
(33,658,635)
606,121
(604,614)
  157,908,171: 48%* 
(154,199,664)
WORLDWIDE 184,853,462
(181,996,280)
3,996,904
(3,941,377)
  3,319,048,509
(total doses)
Information from County of Johnston at 5:00 p.m. July 6,
N.C. Department of Health and Human Services at 12:35 p.m. July 7,
Johns Hopkins University at 3:21 p.m. July 7
* Percentage of total population (all ages)
 
VIEW the current list of Health Department vaccination clinics in Johnston County>
 


LIGHTING UP THE SKY AT JCC

Johnston Community College opened its spacious parking lots for the return of Fourth of July fireworks to Smithfield after COVID-19 restrictions forced cancellation of last year's show. While the college provided the space, the event was organized by the Downtown Smithfield Development Corporation and the town's Parks and Recreation Department and was underwritten by commercial and individual sponsors.
 

WHAT'S COMING UP?

Downtown Smithfield's Third StrEATery event returns this Friday, featuring the Arbor Strings trio entertaining diners who take out meals from nearby restaurants to enjoy at tables set up along the 100 block of South Third Street from 6 to 9 p.m.

The Johnston County Board of Education will conduct its regular monthly meeting next Tuesday in the Evander S. Simpson Building on US 70 Business east of Smithfield. It normally begins with a closed session at 4 p.m. followed by the open business session at 5 p.m. The agenda is usually posted by the end of the day Friday (tomorrow) along with instructions for viewing the live-streamed meeting online. Follow this link to access that information>

 


Back to "normal": 7 inches of rain in June

After two unusually dry months (April and May), June produced 7.08 inches --- an above-average amount, yet more in line with what we experienced earlier this year and all of last year, when a total of 76.2 inches was recorded for 2020 at Cornell Cox's Backyard Weather Station in South Smithfield. June's return of ample precipitation brings the total for the first half of 2021 to 26.12 inches. Average annual rainfall for us is just under 48 inches.

WANT TO TRACK ELSA'S LOCAL IMPACT?
Two things to watch as the tropical storm moves through today (Thursday):
(1) Rainfall amounts --- real-time readings from Johnston Regional Airport>
(2) Neuse River depth --- latest readings at Smithfield and what's to come>

Because of the messy weather anticipated from Elsa's arrival, Johnston County Public Schools canceled today's classes for its Summer Learning Program, with Friday, July 17 set as a make-up day (the program is operating Monday-Thursday for seven weeks through July 23).

 



DEATHS & FUNERALS
Click on the name to read an obituary, usually posted by the funeral home

BOB SHELTON WILLIAMS, 85 - died July 7

RICKY BUNN, 58 - died July 6

GLADYS FAYE BRYANT CROCKER, 77 - died July 5

BETTY ELIZABETH BRADLEY, 75 - died July 1

KENNETH (KENNY) JAY HONEYCUTT, 71 - died June 30


ROY (GUY) DAVIDSON III, 68 - died June 27



A WORD (OR TWO) FROM THE EDITOR

They're bustin' out all over (this town)

Crepe myrtles, that is --- a welcome sight in the middle of summer in the South where vivid tree colors like this are mostly seen in spring and fall. The specimen shown here (photographed Wednesday afternoon) line North Seventh Street just off Caswell, in the northern part of old Smithfield where groups of crepe myrtles seem to congregate along the streets. Some of that isn't coincidental, as I remember the Appearance Commission years ago lined Johnston Street near the post office with red-shaded 'myrtles like these. How many different varieties (and colors) do we have around town?

A CHANCE TO REGISTER YOUR PREFERENCES FOR COUNTY PLANNING

I received notice this week of an online Johnston County land-use survey that's part of a process currently under way to re-examine the county's rules and regulations in light of recent acceleration in the pace of residential and commercial development in Johnston. Have at it by following this link>
 
If you're not a subscriber
, send me your name and preferred e-mail address and I'll add you to the list (it won't cost you anything):
wingate.lassiter@nc.rr.com.

Subscribers to this edition: 1,275


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