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News Briefs: Crash near Clayton kills driver

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Crash near Clayton kills driver

CLAYTON — A man died Tuesday night when his car crashed on N.C. 42 East near Clayton.

Jason Marcus Lanier, 40, of Selma was westbound around 9 p.m. when his 2014 BMW crossed the centerline, traveled over a traffic island, went off the left side of the road, struck an embankment and overturned, Trooper D.K. Douglas reported.

Lanier, who was not wearing his seatbelt, was thrown from his car, the trooper reported. He was dead at the scene.

Speed was a factor, the trooper reported.

Smithfield chef in cooking contest

RALEIGH — A Smithfield chef will compete in this year’s Cooking for a Classic, a yearly benefit for The Lucy Daniels Center in Raleigh.

Eight chefs, including Blake Gotliffe of Under the Oak, will go head to head in a tournament-style event over seven nights in order to claim the top prize: a 2002 Chevrolet Corvette convertible.

Here’s the schedule:

The chefs lineup for Cooking for a Classic 2020 is as follows:

Monday, Feb. 24 – Eli Rodriguez of so·ca vs. Kevin Smith of 41Hundred.

Tuesday, Feb. 25 – Gotliffe vs. Kyle Teears of Whiskey Kitchen.

Wednesday, Feb. 26 – Kyle Fletcher of Wye Hill vs. Scott Ruzicka of Mia Francesca.

Thursday, Feb. 27 – Andres Kaifer of Vidrio vs. Carey Ball of STIR.

Each chef will prepare three courses with at least one secret ingredient in each dish. Attendees and guest judges will decide which chef will advance in the competition. The winners from round one will face off in the semifinals March 4 and 5, and the competition will culminate with the grand finale on March 11. All competitions will be held at 1705 East, Rocky Top Catering’s event venue at 1705 East Millbrook Road in Raleigh.

Tickets start at $75 for the first round, $100 for the second round and $125 for the finale. Premium tables, table sponsorships and corporate sponsorships are also available. Tickets can be purchased online at

“Over the past three years, this event has raised over $400,000,” said Josie Sawyer, executive and clinical director of The Lucy Daniels Center. “We have another extraordinary lineup of chefs this year, and I encourage local foodies to purchase tickets before they sell out.”

More information about the competition is available at To learn more about The Lucy Daniels Center, visit

Johnston Health earns 5-star rating

SMITHFIELD — Johnston Health is the only North Carolina hospital to receive a 5-star rating for cardiac pacemaker procedures in 2020, according to a national study by Healthgrades, an online resource for information about doctors and hospitals.

Healthgrades compared 2020 award recipient hospitals to all other hospitals and found that on average:

• Patients have a 57.3 percent lower risk of complication if treated at hospitals that received the 5-star rating for cardiac pacemaker procedures versus hospitals that received one star.

• Patients are 2.3 times more likely to experience one or more complications if treated at hospitals rated 1-star for cardiac pacemaker procedures versus hospitals that received a 5-star rating.

“Consumers have many choices when it comes to choosing a hospital ... and the choice can be a matter of life and death,” said Dr. Brad Bowman, chief medical officer at Healthgrades. “The hospitals that have been recognized as 5-star rated for specific procedures and conditions stand out above the rest for the ongoing dedication and commitment to providing exceptional care to their patients.”

Dr. Geoffrey F. Lewis is head of the electrophysiology lab at Johnston Health. “Our team has great expertise and experience with pacemakers and defibrillators, and we’re continuing to advance our cardiac ablation program,” he said.

FSA calls on farmers to enroll in 2 programs

SMITHFIELD — The U.S. Farm Service Agency encourages farmers to enroll in the Agriculture Risk Loss and Price Loss Coverage programs. March 15 is the enrollment deadline for the 2019 crop year.

The programs cover the following commodities: barley, canola, large and small chickpeas, corn, crambe, flaxseed, grain sorghum, lentils, mustard seed, oats, peanuts, dry peas, rapeseed, long-grain rice, medium- and short-grain rice, safflower seed, seed cotton, sesame, soybeans, sunflower seed and wheat. 

To enroll, call the Johnston County Farm Service Agency at 919-934-7156, xt. 2, for an appointment.