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The Neuse River approaches its banks in Clayton. The town expects the river to crest at 13 feet by Wednesday. Flood stage is 9 feet.

Hurricane Isaias largely spares Johnston County

SMITHFIELD — Hurricane Isaias could have been worse.
Most Johnstonians with COVID-19 have recovered.

COVID-19 cases in Johnston surpass 3,000

SMITHFIELD — The number of COVID-19 cases in Johnston County eclipsed 3,000 over the weekend, the Health Department reported.  Here are the numbers for Johnston as of 4:15  p.m. …
Shown at the grounbreaking are, from left, school board board Peggy Smith, County Manager Rick Hester, County Commissioners Jeff Carver and Ted Godwin, Superintendent Eric Bracy, and school board members Tracie Zukowski, Todd Sutton, Mike Wooten, Terri Sessoms and Teresa Grant.

Johnston breaks ground on newest school

Johnston schools leaders on July 30 broke ground on the county’s newest elementary school. The school on Lynch Road will serve families in the Thanksgiving community.

Ag commissioner candidate raises $37,000 in second quarter

RALEIGH — Jenna Wadsworth, the Democratic nominee for N.C. commissioner of agriculture, raised more than $37,000 for her campaign in the second quarter. Her opponent, incumbent Republican …
The Johnston County Partnership for Children reminds parents to put safety first when heading to the pool or lake this summer.

Don’t forget safety when heading to the pool

SELMA — Amid the summer heat, many Johnstonians are heading to pools, lakes and beaches to keep cool. But with a dip the water, active supervision and basic childproofing are critical.
Whitney von Haam

Triangle East Chamber offering public speaking seminar

SMITHFIELD — The Triangle East Chamber of Commerce will offer a seminar, “Public Speaking in the Time of Zoom,” at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 12. Whitney von Haam, executive director …

Johnston deeds office sees revenue gains

SMITHFIELD — Despite North Carolina’s stay-at-home and safer-at-home orders, Johnston County’s deeds office is reporting increased volumes and revenue.
With Novo Nordisk and Grifols both expanding, landowner David Orringer thinks Powhatan Road is transitioning to greater industrial use. Contributed photo

Residents oppose Powhatan Road rezoning

CLAYTON — Residential neighbors fear rezoning 22 acres on Powhatan Road will lead to noise, traffic congestion and lower property values. Landowner David Orringer says rezoning the land would …
COVID-19 Map
School board member Peggy Smith says K-5 students should return to their classrooms if their parents want. Screen capture

Board was insistent that K-5 students return

SMITHFIELD — Johnston school board members had heard the arguments for all-remote learning. The district’s chief administrators were confident the schools could offer robust and rigorous …
At Bentonville Battlefield State Historic Site, tombstones mark the graves of unknown Confederate dead. Tyler Stocks | Johnstonian News

Confederate monuments spark conversation

BENTONVILLE — Monuments to the Confederacy and its soldiers are coming down across North Carolina. Frank Powell, a spokesman for the Sons of Confederate Veterans, thinks that’s wrong. …
James Gathers Jr. uses a bottle of water to make a point about how whites and blacks can see things differently. Screen capture

Deputies should have body cameras, Johnston resident says

SMITHFIELD — It’s time to equip sheriff’s deputies with body cameras, a Johnston resident told County Commissioners in July. “We’ve seen in the last two months where law enforcement has …
Johnston high schools, including Smithfield-Selma, will hold drive-through graduation ceremonies July 29-Aug. 1.

Johnston high schools schedule graduation ceremonies

Johnston County’s high schools have announced the dates and times for their drive-through graduation ceremonies.
Ashley Waters of Smithfield visits her grandmother at the SECU Hospice House in Smithfield.

Through the looking glass: Window visits connect hospice patients, loved ones

SMITHFIELD — Under the shade of a white tent, Ashley Waters of Smithfield peered through a window last Wednesday as she visited her grandmother, Gail Pope, a patient at Johnston Health’s SECU …

Traditional graduation not possible, schools say

SMITHFIELD — In moving graduation to late July, Johnston school leaders had hoped to allow high school seniors to receive their diplomas on socially-distanced stages. That was the option seniors …

Utility customers owe hundreds of thousands

In Clayton, more than 1,100 utility accounts were past due last month. And at an average of $400 per account, that’s roughly $440,000 customers owed the town for water, sewer, electricity and …
Some Johnstonians think the county's high schools could hold traditional graduation ceremonies this year.

Hundreds say Johnston could pull off traditional graduation

SMITHFIELD — Could Johnston County high schools hold traditional but safe graduations this year? In a letter to school leaders, some 700 people said yes. The letter was part of the public …

Albert Thomas Jr.

Weathercast: Warm days and scattered storms ahead this week

Tuesday may start out blustery and stormy as Isaias moves through the Wilson Times area, but by afternoon, there should be plenty of sunshine. With winds eventually settling at 10 mph or less and …

Missing woman’s sister won’t give up: ‘I’ve got to fight for her’

Free Christy Ruffin often catches herself listening to her sister’s voicemails. “I thank God for technology,” she said. “You really never know how important that stuff is until that’s all …

Diners detoured: Wilson balancing public safety, restaurant business

Specialist takes extra steps for child

Innovation hub nearly complete

Farm app links customers with Wilson County produce

Steak, lobster, credit and free utilities: Audit says Rocky Mount misused taxpayer funds

ROCKY MOUNT — A scathing state audit report released Friday paints a picture of officials who used City Hall as their personal ATM while bilking taxpayers of thousands of dollars. The report …

Rocky Mount wrote off nearly $50K in councilman's unpaid utility bills

Girlfriend denies involvement in missing person case

Murder suspect can bail out of jail

Being preachy won’t make folks wear face masks

When in a building other than my home or office, I wear a mask. And not just because Gov. Roy Cooper told me I had to. (His edict is unenforceable, so I wonder why he made it.) Instead, I’m a …

Penelope Slade-Sawyer

In a pandemic, facts and leadership are paramount

Regarding COVID-19: Leaders are important. Truth is necessary. Trust is basic. During a worldwide pandemic, clear, understandable and actionable health communication based on facts and delivered …

Here’s how to defeat COVID-19

Over the last several months, our families, our communities and our country have been in a war against COVID-19, a fight that continues to this day. The highly-contagious virus has taken countless …

An Indiana University police car is shown on campus. On the heels of a national police reform movement, some student groups are calling on colleges and universities to disband their campus police departments.

Disbanding campus police will make students less safe

The coronavirus is no longer the biggest back-to-school threat, some college students say. The pandemic has taken a back seat to a new bogeyman: campus police. Young activists are calling on their …

Top sports stories
Clayton senior forward Megan Flockhart (15) pushes the ball ahead during the NRFA Cup championship game  against Cleveland on March 6. Flockhart would love to see the season, her final one, resume after it was paused due to COVID-19 concerns.

‘Special’ group at Clayton contemplates impact of COVID-19

CLAYTON — The seniors on the 2020 Clayton girls soccer team are a special group for head coach Joseph Mott. When Mott first came to the school in 2017 to coach soccer, eight now-seniors, who …
7 make college choices official at North Johnston signing ceremony

KENLY — Seven graduating seniors at North Johnston High made official their college choices during a signing ceremony June 4 at the school. Caroline Leegins signed with NCAA Division II Barton …



Community Calendar: Church plans yard sale fundraiser

Church plans yard sale fundraiser FOUR OAKS — Bethel Original Free Will Baptist Church, 3168 N.C. 96 S., will hold a yard sale from 7-11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 10 to benefit its youth fund. Free breakfast will be available while …

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