April 2018

Page 1

APRIL 2018 | Your Community. Your Neighbors. Your Story.




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ON THE COVER Kellie Ashley poses on the porch of one of her recent projects. Photo by Jamaal Porter/Massive Motives.


TEAM Volume 2, Number 5

A Shandy Communications, LLC publication

Publisher Randy Capps


General Manager Shanna Capps


14-18 Creative Consultant Ethan Capps Advertising Consultant Sharon Lipps Creative Director Frank Spurlock Editorial Consultants Mike Bollinger Rebecca J. Blair Interested in advertising? Send an email to shanna@johnstonnow.com or call 919-618-4405 Story idea or a photo to share? Send an email to hello@johnstonnow.com or mail it to P.O. Box 58, Four Oaks, N.C., 27524

919-980-5522 www.johnstonnow.com Facebook.com/JohnstonNow Johnston Now Magazine is a monthly publication of Shandy Communications, LLC for our Johnston County neighbors. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without written consent by the publisher. Advertisers take sole responsibility for the validity of their advertisement. ©2018 Johnston Now. All rights reserved.


Clayton martial artists give back PAGE 5




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Tomorrow’s writers keep me humble Johnston County is home to roughly 200,000 people and I don’t presume that all of them have heard of our fair magazine. But leave it to a group of aspiring writers to keep my ego in check. I visited Aurora Preston’s English III and IV classes at South Johnston a while back to share a bit about writing and the magazine publishing process. Before my second talk, she held up a copy of the magazine and said, “How many of you have seen Johnston Now magazine?” Let’s just say that the number of hands that went up was less than thrilling.

Randy Capps


I think I won them over a bit with some magazine facts, though. There was an audible response in the room when I encouraged them to write on an eighth-grade level — which is the industry standard. I also explained the inverted pyramid theory of writing, which is where you place your most important details near the top of the story and work your way down. I even drew my upside down Dorito as a visual aide. Somewhere, my News Writing professor is smiling. In fairness to them, the only magazine I read at that age was Sports Illustrated. And the 16 year old that lives at my house is more into Entertainment Weekly than anything else. My tastes evolved, and I’m hoping theirs will, too. And, if you happen to be a student who’s interested in writing, drop me a line at randy@johnstonnow.com. Apparently, we need to try to reach a younger audience.

APRIL 2018 | 5

Johnnie Barfield Green celebrates 105th birthday Submitted by Town of Benson Photo by Lonnie Barfield (nephew) BENSON — The Town of Benson wishes Johnnie Barfield Green a very happy 105th birthday. A celebration was held for her — or as her friends and family refer to her now — “Mrs. 105” at Meadowview Assisted Living Center in Smithfield recently. The activity room was packed for a program that featured stories, laughter and life lessons centered on one very special lady and Benson resident. Some highlights included choir music, jazz saxophone, and remarks from a long list of speakers — a message from Dr. Montorom Williams with St. James Disciples Church, childhood stories from Jimmy Abdalla and memories from former postman Paul Ingram and Green’s great niece Linda Warren, among many, many others. One of her peers, 98-year-old Lina Mae Altman from Newton Grove, even sang a special birthday song. Green, one of the first minority entrepreneurs in the area, was recognized with a proclamation from Benson, presented by Mayor Pro-Tem Casandra Stack. She was also recognized by officials from Four Oaks and received the “Key to the Town” from Smithfield. Sitting at the front of the room, dressed in bright red with her signature sequined cap, Green smiled and laughed along with all the stories and memories of her time as a business owner in Benson. Abdalla recalled one of her shop policies from his childhood — turn in an empty soda bottle and receive one piece of candy.


“We went around picking up every bottle in Benson,” he said with a chuckle. “I don’t think I even knew she sold anything else but candy.” Ingram remembered when he started his job as a mail carrier in Benson. “Everybody told me I had to go talk to Mrs. Johnnie and when I did I realized she already knew me. She knew my mother and father and my aunt, everybody.” Dr. Williams perhaps put it best. “When you visit with Mrs. Green, when you sit down and talk to her — she will humble you,” he said, referring to her wisdom and calm demeanor, having experienced so much of life for so long. From Benson’s proclamation: Johnnie Barfield Green was born in Benson, North Carolina on February 24, 1913 and has resided in Benson all her life. She was raised in a family of five boys and two girls. She owned a grocery store on West Harnett Street in Benson. She married Booker Green. She is a lifetime member of St. James Disciples Church of Benson, and has been described as a simple woman with great integrity, a humble and sweet spirit with work ethic of the highest order and on this day should be honored for 105 years on earth.

Clayton martial artists give back Submitted by Scot Schwichow/Revolution Martial Arts

CLAYTON — Karate students are known for using wood in their board breaking demonstrations. However, members of Revolution Modern Martial Arts in Clayton decided it would be even more awesome to use wood to help a local family in need. On February 23, instructors and members of Revolution Modern Martial Arts spent the day with Habitat for Humanity of Wake County building a house in Clayton. The project is nearing completion and it will provide a shelter to a local mother and her four children. Scot Schwichow, owner of Revolution Modern Martial Arts, found out about the construction project through his weekly Rotary Club meeting. The martial arts school has always enjoyed working in the community, but the goal in 2018 is to have even more impact locally. With that in mind, Scot decided to ask the members of his school if they wanted to put a team together to help with the construction of the home. Within just a few minutes of sharing the date on social media, every volunteer spot had been filled. “I didn’t grow up under the best circumstances, but I am in a place where I can give back now. I was thrilled to hear we were helping a mom and her kids,” Sandy Oliver, one of the volunteers, said. According to their website, Habitat for Humanity believes that “everyone, everywhere, should have a healthy, affordable place to call home.” Founded in 1976, Habitat works through local affiliates to build new homes, revitalize neighborhoods and respond to disasters all over the globe. The construction of the home in Clayton is being supervised by Habitat for Humanity of Wake County, and they boast some impressive numbers about the impact that they are having. The Wake County chapter is one of over 1,200 yet they rank No. 1 in regard to the number of families served globally, and they are tied for second place in the number of new homes built. In the last year they built 57 new homes and repaired 48 existing local houses. This helped serve over 100 local families in need. In addition, they engaged over 18,000 local volunteers in their projects in the U.S. and abroad. Over the course of the day, the volunteers from Revolution helped shingle the roof, hang exterior insulation, shore up the crawl space as well as handle other crucial tasks on the job site. Even though the work was tough, and everyone was well outside of their comfort zone, smiling faces could be seen all around. “Today was an amazing day. … I marked building a house for Habitat for Humanity off my bucket list.” said Elizabeth, one of the Revolution volunteers. You can learn more about Habitat for Humanity of Wake County at habitatwake.org. To learn more about Revolution Modern Martial Arts, visit claytonkarate.com.


APRIL 2018 | 9

DeWayne’s receives Industry Appreciation award Submitted by Johnston County Economic Development

SMITHFIELD — The Johnston County Commissioners and the Johnston County Economic Development Advisory Board recognized DeWayne’s of Selma recently for their commitment to Johnston County and community support by honoring the company with the county’s Industry Appreciation award. This award is presented quarterly to Johnston County industries. “Existing industries and businesses are extremely important to the economic strength of Johnston County,” Jeff Carver, Chairman of the Johnston County Board of Commissioners, said. “The retail sector is vital to the overall health of the county and we are extremely honored to recognize DeWayne’s for not only the growth and continued investment in our community, but also being a true example of the entrepreneur spirit that made this country what it is.” DeWayne and Tina Lee have devoted countless hours over the last 25 years into growing their roadside stand into one of Johnston County’s best known destinations. What began as DeWayne’s Country Garden in 1991 has transitioned through the years to become known simply as DeWayne’s. “I can’t begin to think of a more deserving establishment or family for this recognition than DeWayne and Tina Lee of DeWayne’s,” Cheryl Oliver, mayor of the town of Selma and member of the Johnston County Economic Development Advisory Board, said. “They are a testament to the potential success other small businesses can have in Selma and Johnston County based on values of hard work and meeting customer satisfaction.” In 2016, The Atrium at DeWayne’s was completed


Front row from left: Selma Mayor Cheryl Oliver, Tina Lee and DeWayne Lee. Back row, Commissioners Larry Wood, Ted Godwin, Jeff Carver, Allen Mims, Cookie Pope, Lee Jackson and Chad Stewart.

and is home to a state of the art glass greenhouse with seasonal blooms, houseplants, garden décor and unique outdoor accents. Christmas Land was later revealed in the fall of 2016 during the annual Christmas Open House. Today, DeWayne’s provides customers a unique shopping experience in over 40,000 square feet of specialty retailing. “Johnston County is where we call home so this award is very special to us,” Tina Lee said. “We are

very blessed to have the gracious support of our community leaders, faithful customers and talented employees as we have grown from ‘pumpkins to Pandora’ over the last 26 years. We have realized that with hard work and determination, dreams do come true! It hasn’t always been easy, but it’s the greatest rewards in life that don’t come easy. “We look forward to serving the community for many more years to provide a distinctively different shopping experience.”

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NEWS FROM YO Holt Lake Gas and Grill recognized as Four Oaks Business of the Month Submitted by Four Oaks Area Chamber of Commerce FOUR OAKS — The Four Oaks Chamber of Commerce is celebrating Holt Lake Gas and Grill as March’s Business of the Month. Holt Lake Gas and Grill was nominated for the award in recognition of their beautification and renovation efforts. Owner Tony Braswell and general manager Tonya Rodriguez have worked hard since 2016 to improve the look and service provided by Holt Lake Gas and Grill. They have remodeled the outside canopy and the front face of the building, installed new lighting, increased the food options available at the grill and upgraded the inventory and customer pay systems.

Pictured are, left to right, Chad Stewart, building owner; Jackie Parrish, Four Oaks Chamber of Commerce board member; Tonya Rodriguez, Holt Lake Gas and Grill General Manager; Tony Braswell, Holt Lake Gas and Grill Owner; Tim Barbour, Four Oaks Chamber of Commerce Board President; Glenn Lee, Four Oaks Chamber of Commerce board member and Vic Medlin, Town of Four Oaks commissioner.

David Johnson joins firm as senior associate

Walter Holt awarded Order of the Long Leaf Pine

Submitted by Avison Young RALEIGH — Avison Young, the world’s fastest-growing commercial real estate services firm, announced that David Johnson has joined the company as Senior Associate. “David specializes in business development, tenant representation and buyer representation,” said John Linderman, principal and regional managing director for Avison Young’s North Carolina operations. “We’re seeing tremendous opportunities in the eastern Triangle area and David will focus on serving clients in Johnston, Wilson and Pitt Counties.” Before joining the Avison Young team, Johnson owned and operated Interstate Glass, Inc. with four locations in eastern North Carolina. He has been actively involved in his community through various civic organizations including the Smithfield Jaycees, the Smithfield-Selma Area Chamber of Commerce and the United Way of Johnston County. Currently, he is active with Junior Achievement providing instruction to young people in schools. Johnson holds a North Carolina real estate brokers license and a North Carolina general contractor’s license.

Submitted by Four Oaks Area Chamber of Commerce FOUR OAKS — Walter Holt, former Town of Four Oaks commissioner, was awarded one of the state’s highest honors, the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, during the Four Oaks Area Chamber of Commerce Membership Durwood Stephenson on behalf of the Town of Four Oaks Appreciation Dinner on and the Governors’ office presenting the Order of the Long Feb. 27. Leaf Pine award to Walter Holt and wife, Rebecca. (Photo by Carly Fogleman Photography) “I was honored to serve the people of this community,” he said. “My wife told me we were going to get a free meal. I asked her, ‘what’s the occasion?’ She said there would be a bunch of people there who were being honored. … But when I saw my family come in, I thought, ‘what in the world is going on?’” Holt retired last year after 24 years as a commissioner and it was that service, as well as his tireless work as a Baptist mission volunteer, that led Governor Roy Cooper to bestow the honor on him.


OUR NEIGHBORS Four Oaks Middle teacher wins chamber honor Submitted by Four Oaks Area Chamber of Commerce FOUR OAKS — The Four Oaks Chamber of Commerce and HomeTowne Realty are celebrating Susan Adams of Four Oaks Middle School as March’s Teachers Lead Four Oaks Teacher of the Month recipient. Four Oaks teachers are a vital part of developing and leading our future workforce and future community leaders. The Four Oaks Chamber of Commerce recognizes teachers who motivate and inspire their students through their teaching practices and their commitment to the community. Four Oaks Middle School Principal Tol Avery and Assistant Principal Sarah Lewis shared as part of the nomination process, “Mrs. Adams builds rapport with her students so that they seek to learn and dig deeper into social studies. She leads by example by being a lifelong learner and continues to motivate her students with her enthusiasm in and out of the classroom. “She is the school’s soccer and softball coach. She has also just assumed the role of athletic director and has partnered with many outside agencies to garner their support for the school’s athletic program. Businesses, families and community members feel part of the school community because of her outreach. “Mrs. Adams is a seasoned teacher who diligently seeks opportunities to get the best out of her students on a daily basis. She tries innovative ideas to inspire students to develop a love for learning. Mrs. Adams not only loves her students, she loves the Four Oaks community and seeks to merge it with the school to make each a better place.” She was presented with a certificate of recognition as well as an assortment of gifts from many of the Chamber member businesses.

Pictured are, left to right, Missy Medlin, HomeTowne Realty; June Raynor, Four Oaks Chamber of Commerce secretary; Susan Adams, Teachers Lead Four Oaks recipient; Amber England, Four Oaks Chamber of Commerce director and Tim Barbour, Four Oaks Chamber of Commerce president.

JCI youth program proves beneficial for young mother Submitted by Johnston County Industries SMITHFIELD — Tori Wilkins is a participant of JCI’s Youth Program at the NCWorks NextGen Career Center in Smithfield. She came to the NextGen Career Center in 2014 at the age of 21 and requested assistance with obtaining her general equivalency diploma. She realized that in order to find a career she needed to have the right credentials. For the next year, she spent her time studying for exams and working at AAF Flanders in Smithfield. She worked on the assembly line but was able to move into another position due to her versatility and ability to learn new tasks quickly. She applied for an office assistant position and learned the clerical duties needed by the company. Perseverance in her school studies also paid off in 2015 when she received her general equivalency diploma. Last year, Wilkins spent time at home with her family but did not lose sight of her goals. She applied to college, but due to family circumstances, was unable to commit to her

studies at that time. Instead, she chose to re-enter the workforce with the help of the NextGen Career Center.

This allowed her to expand on her basic office skills by participating in a work experience at JCI as a program assistant. Her job duties included scanning and filing documents, administrative support and proper input of client data. At the end of her work experience, she was offered a permanent position at JCI as a job coach who now aids others with their workforce goals. Melissa Overton, Tori’s supervisor at JCI describes Tori as a huge asset to the company. “She really came a long way from when she started and is now a valued addition to my team at JCI,” she said. Wilkins will soon be enrolling in college courses to continue her education goals. JCI’s Youth Program at the NCWorks NextGen Career Center has been beneficial for her. Her dedication, tremendous work ethic and determination have been integral to her success. This working mother of two has proven that with a support system, hard work and determination, you really can have it all.

APRIL 2018 | 13

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e many things. lik s ok lo es and a savvy y ill le ch sh A A ed lie m el K na d — ar S K pp FOUR OA ner to a German She ow g do g tin do a r, he ral contractor. mot ne d ge ou a r pr fo a e pe lik ty s eo ok er lo e st She . These days, es not, however, meet th om es H y do le he sh S A . an lie el om K w d business er of last year, founde ob ct O in d an , 16 20 ense in She received her lic , buy or sell a home. ild bu s nt ie cl r he lp she can he


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That’s a long way from how she grew up in Fairmont, working in tobacco fields and waiting tables at South of the Border — and not much closer to her college days at East Carolina. “I have a degree in Housing and Management from East Carolina,” Ashley said. “I didn’t realize it at the time, but it was basically a degree you got just to go to college so you could find a husband. So, it was mostly women and they mostly went into interior design. But I actually went another way.” She did an internship at the Greenville Housing Authority and minored in Engineering. But it was a single class that got it all started. “I took a class, Construction 101,” she said. “This was around 1983, and I was the only female in the class. We built a bus stop shelter and I got the construction bug.” Later, she added an Associate Degree in Industrial Engineering from Wake Tech and a Master’s in Trust and Wealth Management from Campbell University. After working in commercial real estate and property management early in her career, she spent 16 years at Wachovia and Merrill Lynch in wealth management. It was her son, Wade Corbett, and his interest in real estate that started her down a different path. “My son’s in real estate, and he was in real estate when I left Merrill Lynch and got my real estate license,” she said. “He and I had already flipped a house together, and we were in the middle of doing another one.” Getting a real estate license opened up a new world of possibilities for her. “It is something I’ve always wanted to do,” she said. “But I didn’t have access to the MLS, so it’s hard to get started on something like that when you don’t even know what’s out there.” She got married and moved to the 40/42 area right after college — right around the time Wade was born. But from the time he was around four, she wound up raising him as a single mother. But that relationship made it difficult for them to work together. “When we started, he was the boss and I was the employee,” she said. “I didn’t really like that. He kind of didn’t like it either, because he felt weird telling me what to do.” So, she decided to become her own boss. But that meant entering the field as something of a rarity — a hands-on general contractor, who’s also a woman.


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General contractors do it all when it comes to building a home. They find and purchase the lot, choose the plans, secure the permits and line up the various contractors to complete the house. And in her case, since she’s a licensed real estate agent, she can sell it, too. “There aren’t very many women who are contractors,” she said. “The ones that are, it’s because their fathers are. Or their fathers were builders. Or their husband is. So, they’ve got the general contractor’s license, but they’re not actually out there telling people what to do. “It’s hard because there are men who think they can take advantage of me. Lots of times, when they realize they can’t, they get really upset. But on the other side of that, a lot of the guys are very nice. They’re gentlemen, and they love to be able to help. So, it works out.” Ashley perks up when asked about her favorite project. “I renovated a house over in Clayton that I bought online,” she said. “So, I’d never been inside of it. When I bought it, I was sitting in the driveway — because I was anxious to get started. The attorney calls me and says it’s recorded. When he says it’s recorded, it’s mine. “I had to take a drill and drill a hole into the door knob so I could get into the house. I get into the house, and it’s huge. Five bedrooms, four-and-ahalf baths. Two bonus rooms, two sets of stairs. There’s no water. There’s no power. I have no idea if the heat’s going to work. I’m standing there going ‘oh no, what did I just do?’” It had to be painted inside and out, and it took a crew six full days to get it done. The shrubs had grown to cover the entire front of the house. It took imagination and a great deal of work to see it through. “It turned out great,” she said with a smile. When she’s not working, she enjoys N.C. State football and basketball, kayaking, camping and hiking. You might even see Achilles pulling her around the neighborhood on her recumbent bike. What might be more difficult to spot are the time capsules she includes in her projects. She packs it with a map of the county, sales papers and a certain local magazine, among other things. She then has it built into the wall, an idea borrowed from renovation shows on TV. Like with the woman herself, there’s more to her projects than meets the eye.

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Hundreds turn out for Stroll Downtown Four Oaks Hundreds of Johnston County residents came out for the Stroll Downtown Four Oaks event in February. Pictured is Tina Pitts, the winner of the gift basket for completing the scavenger hunt.

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Johnston Health teams up with county to set up health information hubs Submitted by Johnston Health

SMITHFIELD — Kyle McDermott thinks of himself as fairly healthy. He eats right, plays racquetball, and, most days, gets in his 11,000 steps while on the job. As vice president of support services at Johnston Health, he’s often on his feet, walking briskly from one place to the next. So it came as a surprise one morning last August when he checked his blood pressure at the new blood pressure station at Johnston Medical Mall and got some abnormally high numbers. At first, he thought the blood pressure monitor was broken and nearly called up someone to say so. He had seen his family doctor two months earlier for an annual physical. At the visit, everything had checked out fine. “That’s the thing that’s so scary,” he said. “I didn’t have any signs that my numbers were out of whack.” That afternoon, he took his blood pressure again. He bought his own blood pressure monitor and kept a week’s worth of readings at home before calling his family doctor. Following a visit, his doctor prescribed blood pressure medication, which McDermott has been taking ever since. Leah Johnson, corporate and community outreach coordinator for Johnston Health, is pleased that a hospital administrator was among the first people to use the station and to find it helpful. Johnston Health purchased the monitor, and a federal grant provided through the state to the Johnston County Public Health Department paid for the educational materials. In all, there are nine stations scattered across the county and two others in the works. Johnson says the stations are hubs for health education and resources. In addition to hypertension, there are pamphlets on smart eating, diabetes and diabetes support groups and heart disease, which is the leading cause of death in Johnston County. She is working alongside Jaime Pearce, a regional grants coordinator for the


From left, Jaime Pearce of the Johnston Counrty Health Department and Leah Johnson of Johnston Health help Clayton Parks and Recreation’s Nick Rummage take his blood pressure at the new station at Clayton Community Center. It’s one of nine stations in communities throughout the county.

local health department, to place the stations at popular gathering places, such as libraries and exercise centers, in rural and thickly settled communities. There’s even a popular restaurant in the mix. “We want to raise awareness about the dangers of high blood pressure,” Johnson said. “For people who may be reluctant to go to the doctor, this is a less intimidating setting in which they can get involved in their health.” The stations also offer support for those who already know they have hypertension, Johnson added. “If you have a place where you can regularly check your blood pressure, then it’s much easier to stay on top of your condition,” she said. Dr. Marilyn Pearson, director of the health department, says the stations will provide an additional tool for individuals and medical providers to diagnose elevated or high blood pressure. “With the new guidelines for diagnosing high blood pressure, it’s essential that

we monitor blood pressure outside of the clinical setting,” she said. Had the public station not been available at the medical mall, McDermott said he likely would have gone until his next annual physical without knowing he had a problem. “I’m grateful the station was there,” he said. “It’s a great service to the community.”

Station locations: »» Kenly, Smithfield, Benson and Selma public libraries »» C.E. Barnes Store in Archer Lodge »» Fit 4 Life Health Club at McGee’s Crossroads »» Clayton Community Center »» Parkside Café & Catering in Pine Level

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Neuse Charter showcases robotics program By Shannon Mann

SMITHFIELD — With an ever-growing interest in S.T.E.M. and S.T.E.A.M. programs in schools these days, Neuse Charter School invited the public to see how that learning has exploded at their school. Last month, students from Neuse Charter’s 13 robotics teams displayed their robots and season models, and answered questions from the public about their robotics program, higherlevel competitions and what it takes to get a robotics team started. Angela Jenkins, Neuse Charter School elementary technology teacher and coach for the First Tech Challenge (FTC) team and the First Lego League team (FLL), said the showcase has an added benefit of helping students achieve program requirements. “Public speaking and community outreach are two of the building blocks in our program,” said Jenkins. “The teams participating in the free showcase look forward to both explaining what they’ve learned throughout the current season and providing an opportunity for Neuse families (current and future) to learn about our robotics program for their child.” While it might seem with 13 teams ranging in grades 1-12 that Neuse Charter has a long legacy in robotics, but the truth is that their program only started during the 2017-2018 school year. Jenkins said when they held their first information meeting they were afraid that no one would show up. “We had more than 50 students interested in joining a 10-member team,” Jenkins said. “I think our students were already interested in S.T.E.A.M. fields, they just needed an outlet.” Jenkins, along with two other middle school teachers, Jeff Matisoff and Mike Ward, guided the team through their first competition in November 2016 with only two months of preparation time. As more students learned about the program, more asked to join, but the rules were firm about the team size. The coaches found the more students they turned away, the more the students asked for additional teams to be formed. “As coaches, we felt horrible and decided that we would not turn away students this year,” said Jenkins. “Between grants and fundraising our school started enough teams to accommodate everyone.” But while participation level and fundraising could support the formation of the teams, the students still needed mentors. At a


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minimum teams meet weekly, but once competition season is in full swing teams could meet several times per week to improve their skills. Six teachers, seven parents and one high school freshman mentor, guide and direct the chaos. Jennifer Cade, an NCS third-grade teacher, is lead coach for the largest grouping, the First Lego League Jr. students. “Our level is designed to introduce S.T.E.M. concepts to kids in grades 1-4 while exciting them through a brand they know and love — Lego,” said Cade. Students in the school’s intermediate academy (grades 5-7) participated on one of two First Lego League (FLL) teams. Also the first type of team to form last year. Jeff Matisoff, a sixth-grade math teacher and co-coach with Jenkins to the FLL team, said this team researches and focuses on real-world problems. “They are challenged to develop a solution,” he said. Students also design, build, and program a robot using Lego materials that competes on a table-top playing field. A mix of intermediate and upper academy students (grades 7-12) made up the school’s only First Tech Challenge (FTC) team this year. James Evans, a 7th grade student, was a founding member of the school’s first FLL team and advanced this year to join the FTC team. From building smaller robots from Legos to building metal robots from a kit, Evans said he has grown in his knowledge of construction and programming. “I have learned many things from better programming, to building, to working with a team,” Evans said. “Working as a team is very important because I never expected to get so far.” The FLL and FTC teams competed in November 2017 and January 2018 and both had impressive showings. One FLL team, the Robotic Stormtroopers, even earned a spot competing at the N.C. FLL State Championship. The FLL Jr. teams will present in April at a First Robotics Competition (FRC) state tournament at Campbell University. “Our students are so excited to share what they have learned through robotics,” said Jenkins. “They want others to know about how this program can excite passion, encourage young minds and grow creative, critical-thinking students. We can’t wait for the public to see what Neuse Charter robotics students have been doing this year.”

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APRIL 2018 | 27

Iowa 80 Group announces $4 million expansion Submitted by Johnston County Economic Development

KENLY — The Iowa 80 Group, a national truckstop company, will expand its Kenly 95 operations to include another 30,000 square feet for diesel repair and a customer service area. The company’s $4 million expansion will result in the addition of 15 new jobs for Johnston County, and will be a part of their existing 85,000-square-foot facilities located on their 52-acre campus. “Once again we are extremely pleased that another longtime Johnston County business plans to invest, grow and build on its success in our community,” said Jeffrey Carver, chairman of the Johnston County Board of Commissioners. The board authorized an offer of performance-based financial incentives to help facilitate Kenly 95’s expansion plans. “Ernie Brame and his Kenly 95 team has continued to invest, grow and support our communities in the northern end of the county, and we’re proud that Johnston County will be an even larger part of its future,” Carver added. Since opening in May 1980, the facility saw immediate growth when the Iowa 80 Group purchased the location in 2004 and immediately embarked on a five-year plan to take the Kenly location to the next level. It has approximately 200 full- and part-time employees and entertains close to one million guests annually. According to General Manager Ernie Brame, the Kenly location currently has revenues approaching $50 million each year, and remits more than $2 million in taxes ranging from sales, payroll, property and motor fuel taxes.

Partnership Park, Miracle League Field to open April 14 Submitted by The Partnership for Children

SMITHFIELD — The Partnership Park and the Miracle League Field will open on April 14 at Smithfield Community Park. The day will begin at 9 a.m. with a Miracle League game, and a ribbon cutting ceremony will follow at 11. There will also be family activities including food trucks, face painting, balloons and more. In Johnston County, more than 6,000 children have some sort of special need and until now, no place to play. For the past several years, The Partnership for Children and The Miracle League engaged in a collaborative effort with Johnston County leaders and citizens to build a park and ball field for children of all abilities to enjoy together. Efforts began with the premise that all children regardless of ability should have a safe space to play together. The successful capital campaign raised more than $1.2 million. “We are thrilled by the investment of our community in this exciting, quality of life facility,” Director of The Partnership for Children, Dwight Morris, said. “Play is critical to a child’s development and every child deserves the kind of experience that provides for all abilities. We deeply appreciate all our donors and the shared vision of a place for all.” For more information on The Partnership for Children or The Miracle League, visit partnershipforchildrenjoco.org or miracleleaguejc.com.

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APRIL 2018 | 29

Elementary students spread the love in Smithfield Submitted by Johnston County Public Schools

SMITHFIELD — Students from West Smithfield and South Smithfield elementary schools took the time to spread some love throughout their community in February with more than a thousand handmade cards. Hadley Lee, the Family and Community Engagement Liaison for the two Smithfield elementary schools, said the students created the cards in their classes as a way to teach them that small gestures of love and kindness can go a long way. Lee hand delivered the cards to several local businesses and community members including Barbour Court Nursing Home, Brookdale Senior Living Center, Carroll Pharmacy, Johnston County Senior Services, the Johnston Dialysis Center in Smithfield, Johnston Health, Meadowview Assisted Living and Nursing Home, Millennia Cardiovascular, Smithfield Manor Nursing Home and Rehab and the Smithfield Rescue Mission. “I can’t begin to explain how touching and humbling this experience was,” said Lee. “Everyone I encountered was truly appreciative.” Above: Some of the students who created the cards are pictured. Front row, left to right, Ashley Mejia Gonzalez and Derrick Ruffin. Back row, Azariah Johnson, Antonio Lane, Zion Johnson and Christopher Velasquez. Left: South Smithfield Elementary students Finley Carroll, Alek Martinez, Nicarie Lane and Emily Mendez.



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Second JCPS middle school student earns $20K scholarship Submitted by Johnston County Public Schools

SMITHFIELD — Commitment, excellence and leadership have paid off for middle school student Mariah Williams, the second Johnston County Public Schools student to receive the $20,000 Victor E. Bell, Jr. Scholarship. Williams is one of only ten students in North Carolina to receive this education award and can use the funds to attend the college of her choice. Johnston County Public Schools had two students receive the scholarship, Williams and Selma Middle student Vanessa Zepeda-Paromo. The Victor E. Bell, Jr. Scholarship is awarded to seventh graders to encourage and assist high potential North Carolina students to pursue a college degree. Williams was nominated because of her dedication, hard work and persistence. Williams said she plans to pursue a career in the music industry and enjoys singing and composing music when she is not completing her school work. She said she is excited about her college future, especially since she will be a firstgeneration college graduate. Each recipient of the scholarship has an NC 529 College Savings account established with their name as the beneficiary. Each year that they qualify to renew the scholarship, from seventh grade through college graduation, $2,000 is added to that account with a maximum contribution of $20,000. According to her teachers, she embraces challenges and has learned many valuable lessons during her middle school years. She has even learned sign language in order to teach it to a family member who is deaf.

Smithfield Middle student Mariah Williams is the second Johnston County Public Schools student to receive the $20,000 Victor E. Bell, Jr. Scholarship.

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APRIL 2018 | 33

Clayton Steakhouse supports Partnership for Children Submitted by Partnership for Children

Clayton Steakhouse hosted the ninth-annual Clayton Steakhouse fundraiser for the Partnership for Children in February, supporting the importance of quality early childhood education and experiences in our community. “We are fortunate to be able to continue supporting the Partnership for Children of Johnston County by hosting this annual fundraiser. We are happy to help ensure that the children of Johnston County have access to all that they need in order to become productive members of our community,” said owners Ryan Rubright and Bobbi Buckler. To find out more about the programs and services offered by the Partnership for Children, please call 919-202-0002 or visit partnershipforchildrenjoco.org.

Smithfield-Selma Chamber of Commerce honors Semester Superstars Submitted by the Smithfield-Selma Chamber

SMITHFIELD — The 2018 Spring Semester Superstars luncheon was held at Sleep Inn and Suites Smithfield to honor teachers from the middle and high schools in the greater Smithfield-Selma area. Semester Superstars is a special recognition program by the Chamber Education Committee where school administrators are asked to nominate one teacher to be recognized. Pictured are, left to right, Chelsea Stilley, Innovation Academy at South Campus; Jessica Pilkington, Selma Middle School; Heidi Stone, Smithfield Middle School; Suzanne Sweat, Johnston County Middle College High School; Jeronimo Alvarez, Smithfield-Selma High School; Matthew Johnson, Johnston County Early College Academy; Daniel Casey, Neuse Charter School and Travis Gaster, Princeton High School.


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Add your organization’s events to the community calendar at JohnstonNow.com or email us at calendar@JohnstonNow.com. For the full community calendar with hundreds of area events, visit JohnstonNow.com Monthly

NAMI support groups The Johnston County chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness offers monthly support groups for those suffering with mental illness and their families. Regular meetings are held in Clayton, Selma and Smithfield. For more information, contact Richard Callahan at 919-464-3572 or email namijcnc@gmail.com.

Every Monday, 6-8 p.m. and Friday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Angels on a Mission Food Pantry Lighthouse Christian Fellowship, 9856 Hwy 210, Four Oaks This organization helps feed families in need in Johnston County. It is also in need of volunteers. For more information, contact John Jernigan at 919-320-7387.

First Thursday, noon and third Monday, 6 p.m.

Kiwanis Club of Clayton Cleveland Draft House, U.S. 70 Business The newly formed Kiwanis Club of Clayton serves the community with emphasis on school youth Kiwanis programs. They advise two local high school KEY clubs (Kiwanis Educating Youth) and meets twice a month. For more information, email president Jack Tucker at mrtcpa@gmail.com or call 805-377-9573.

Every Tuesday, 7 a.m.

Cleveland School Rotary Club Cleveland Draft House, Garner Cleveland School Rotary Club meets weekly and serves the citizens of the 40/42 area of Johnston County and Garner.


First and third Tuesdays, Noon

Clayton Rotary Mid-day Club Cleveland Draft House, Clayton This small group of service-minded individuals is very dedicated to community betterment in Clayton and Johnston County.

Third Tuesday

Widowed Persons Fellowship Group Parkside Cafe, Pine Level The Widowed Persons Fellowship Group, Johnston County, cordially invites widowed males and females to join them at their monthly self-pay dinner meeting. There is no charge to join their group. Come and see what they’re all about. Call Shorty at 919-524-7674 with any questions.

Every Wednesday, 10 a.m.

Bible Study with Cats Kosmic Kittens Cat Lounge Come out for a casual, cat-filled, study of God’s word in fellowship and take a dive into scripture. Weekly topics will be based on the group’s discussion. Coffee provided. Call 919-337-5345 for more details.

Every Thursday, 6:45 a.m.

Clayton Rotary Morning Club Rainbow Lanes, Clayton Every Thursday morning, 70 service-minded people, representing all ages, genders and races meet at Rainbow Lanes in Clayton. Breakfast is served at 6:45 a.m. and the hour-long meeting starts sharply at 7 a.m.

Every Thursday, 8-10 a.m.

Plant a Row for the Hungry - Johnston County JCC Arboretum Volunteers plan and take care of vegetable gardens and an orchard year round, and all of the harvest is donated to local soup kitchens and food pantries. No previous gardening experience is required and training is provided. Adults welcome, and anyone under 16 must be accompanied by a parent. For more information, please contact Tiffany at plantarow@yahoo.com.

Every Thursday, 12 p.m.

Central Johnston County Rotary Club The Central Johnston County Rotary Club meets every Thursday for lunch at the Johnston Medical Mall and serves the Smithfield and Selma areas.

Every Third Friday, 6-9 p.m.

Free Carriage Rides Downtown Smithfield The Downtown Smithfield Development Corporation hosts free carriage rides, starting on the corner of Third and Market, around the beautiful, historic downtown area each month. Have dinner and drinks at locally owned restaurants, catch a movie at the Howell Theatre and enjoy some small town charm!

First Friday of the month, 7:30-9 a.m.

Greater Cleveland Chamber of Commerce Member Breakfast Triple Barrel Tavern Join the Greater Cleveland Chamber of Commerce for its free member breakfast each month. Contact the chamber at 919-773-8448 for more information.

Third Friday

Clayton Area Parkinson’s Group All people with Parkinson’s and their caregivers are invited to learn, socialize and exchange ideas in friendly and casual meetings. Meeting locations and times vary. To learn more, call Mark or Jane Wilson at 919-359-0633 or 919-631-2628. Or email retiredones@earthlink.net.

Fourth Friday of the month, 7-9 p.m.

Open Mic Night Kosmic Kittens Cat Lounge, Selma Check out amateur open mic night at the lounge. We don’t serve food, but we have drinks and snacks available for purchase and free coffee. You can eat before at Danoni’s or Hula Girl next door, or order take out/delivery and eat in. Come practice your skills, test out new or old material, or just wing it and have a great time at the new open mic night in 2018. For more information, call 919-337-5345.

Friday, April 6, 10 a.m.

Museum Coffee Hour Benson Museum of Local History Come out to the Benson Museum of Local History for a coffee hour. Free coffee and snacks will be served. Come tour the museum and visit with friends.

Friday, April 6, 6 p.m.

Benson’s First Friday Visit Downtown Benson for its monthly First Friday event. Participating shops will remain open until 9 p.m. Some shops will offer light refreshments (i.e: wine, beer, etc.) DIY projects, crafts or an exclusive First Friday sale. There will also be a food truck set up in Benton Square.

April 6 and May 4, 7:30 p.m.

Brien Barbour in concert Simple Twist Taproom Check out some of the best country, bluegrass, folk and southern rock around with Johnston County native Brien Barbour. There’s no cover charge and for more information, visit facebook.com/ SimpleTwistTaproom or call 919-934-1033.

Saturday, April 7

NC Wine & Beer Festival The Farm at 95, Selma The North Carolina Wine & Beer Festival presented by Food Lion heads to The Farm at 95 on Saturday, April 7. Sip North Carolina craft beverages, sample amazing chef inspired menus from foods sourced from area farms and shop local vendors and artisans. Come out, sit back and relax on the farm with a Bedlam Vodka commemorative glass in one hand and a tasty North Carolinainspired treat in the other. For more, visit ncwineandbeerfestival.com.

Saturday, April 7, 7:30 a.m.

Four Oaks UMC Youth Ministry Indoor Yard Sale The Four Oaks UMC Youth Ministry will hold its annual indoor yard sale on April 7 from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. There will be a wide variety of items and the sale will be name-your-own price (excluding large items). All proceeds support the youth group and its ministry throughout the year. For more information, email tyler.foumc@gmail.com.

Saturday, April 7, 10 a.m.

Clayton WIN’s Women’s Health & Wellness Expo The Clayton Center Don’t miss the second-annual Clayton Women in Networking Women’s Health & Wellness Expo on April 7 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at The Clayton Center. The event features more than 60 vendors, free health screenings, food trucks, gift bags to the first 150 entrants and much, much more. For more details, email activities@claytonwin.com.

Saturday, April 7, 6:30 p.m.

American Music Jubliee Spring Show Rudy Theatre, Selma Don’t miss the Spring show of the American Music Jubliee at the Rudy Theatre. It’s a music variety show that’s a two-hour family friendly extravaganza that will have you singing along with your favorite songs, laughing out loud and feeling a stirring of pride from deep within your soul as they pay tribute to this great country. For tickets, visit rudytheatre.com/tickets.

Tuesday, April 10, Noon

Edward Jones Grand Opening 11618 U.S. 70 Bus. W, Suite 204, Clayton Brad Palmer is opening a new Edward Jones office in Clayton on Tuesday, April 10 at noon. Food and drink will be available. Call 919-359-8444 for more details.

April 13-14, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Classic Antique Power and Tractor Show Chamber Park, Benson Sponsored by the Benson Area Chamber of Commerce and Classic Antique Power, this event showcases classic antique tractors and much more. For more information, call Steven Stanley at 919-291-5648.

Friday, April 13, 8 a.m.

Swing into Spring Golf Tournament Neuse Golf Club, Clayton The Clayton Chamber of Commerce’s Swing into Spring Golf Tournament presented by North Carolina Heart & Vascular will be held at the Neuse Golf Club on April 13. The cost is $80 for individuals and $320 for teams. The grand prize for a hole-inone is a trip to Scotland and the chance to play Royal Troon, Carnoustie, St. Andrews Old and Jubilee at St. Andrews, among others. For more information, email maria@claytonchamber.com.

Saturday, April 14, 8 a.m.

Johnston County Extension Master Gardeners Plant Sale Johnston County Ag Center Come out and buy plants grown by master gardeners and local nurseries. Mini classes and garden art crafts also will be available.

Saturday, April 14, 9 a.m.

Johnston Health Foundation CHAMPIONS 10K Johnston Health, Smithfield This 10K race and 5K Run/Walk fundraiser is presented by HealthQuest Fitness and Wellness Center in Smithfield and will benefit two Johnston Health Foundation Funds — The Angel Fund, which supports cancer patients experiencing financial hardship and the Healthy Kids Fund, which addresses childhood obesity issues in our community through health and fitness scholarships. For information and registration, visit www.johnstonhealth.org/champions.


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APRIL 2018 | 37

Saturday, April 14, 9 a.m.

Sunday, April 18, 9:45 a.m.

Saturday, April 14, 9 a.m.

Thursday, April 19, 5:30 p.m. April 21 and 28; May 5 and 12, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 22 and 29; May 6 and 13, 1-5 p.m.

Selma Saturdays Arts and Crafts Market East Anderson Street, Selma Gather with friends and enjoy live local entertainment and browse local artists with hand-crafted items. The gazebo is located at the 100 Block of E. Anderson Street in Uptown Selma in the back parking lot of Town Hall. For complete information, please call 919-975-1411. Partnership Park, Miracle League Field opening Smithfield Community Park The Partnership Park and the Miracle League Field will open on April 14. The day will begin at 9 a.m. with a Miracle League game, and there will be an opportunity for donors to meet some of the families. A ribbon cutting ceremony to follow at 11 a.m. Family activities including food trucks, face painting, balloons and fun in the park will continue until 2 p.m. The ball field and 1.5-acre park and play space is located in the Smithfield Community Park at 600 East Booker Dairy Road, Smithfield.

Saturday, April 14, 10 a.m.

Capturing our Past: Painting Class Tobacco Farm Life Museum, Kenly Nancy Davis Peele Art and Photography will walk individuals through a painting project. The cost is $35 per person and includes materials and lunch. Open to 10 participants ages 16 and over. For more information, call 919-284-3431.

April 14, 19 and 28 12:30 p.m

American Music Jubliee - Spring Show Rudy Theatre, Selma Don’t miss the Spring show of the American Music Jubliee at the Rudy Theatre. It’s a music variety show that’s a two-hour family friendly extravaganza that will have you singing along with your favorite songs, laughing out loud and feeling a stirring of pride from deep within your soul as they pay tribute to this great country. For tickets, visit rudytheatre.com/tickets.

Friend Day Princeton Baptist Church, Pearl Street, Princeton Princeton Baptist Church will recognize its members’ many friends on this day. The public is invited to celebrate this event culminating a month of studies on friendship. Sunday school starts at 9:45 a.m., and the morning service will follow at 11 a.m. For more information, call the church office at 919-631-0085.

2018 High School Art Exhibition Frank Creech Art Gallery, Smithfield The Frank Creech Art Gallery will present the 2018 High School Art Exhibition featuring students from Johnston County Schools, at a reception on Thursday, April 19, from 5:30-7 p.m., at the Frank Creech Art Gallery in the STEAM Building at Johnston Community College.

Thursday, April 19, 7 p.m.

American Indian Education Parent Advisory Committee hearing A.G. Glenn Building, 2nd Street, Smithfield Johnston County Public Schools, in coordination with the JCPS American Indian Education Parent Advisory Committee, is holding this public meeting to provide all stakeholders an opportunity to understand and offer recommendations for the 2018-2019 Indian Education Formula Grant under Title VI of the Elementary and Secondary Schools Education Act. If approved, JCPS will receive funds to provide supplemental services to eligible American Indian and Alaskan Native students.

Friday, April 20, 6:30 p.m.

Smithfield-Selma High School Hall of Fame dinner Don’t miss the Smithfield-Selma High School Hall of Fame dinner on April 20 at 6:30 p.m. For more information, call the school at 919-934-5191.


Saturday, April 21, 8 a.m.

Four Oaks Car, Truck, and Motorcycle Show Downtown Four Oaks Visit downtown Four Oaks for a car, truck and motorcycle show and swap meet. Register your vehicle for trophy and cash prizes. Browse the swap meet and enjoy food from local food trucks and restaurants. Take your chance at the 50/50 raffle and enjoy music on the street while you check out all that the town has to offer. Vehicle and vendor registration is on the Four Oaks Chamber of Commerce website at fouroakschamber.com, and the registration deadline is April 5. For more information, contact Amber England at info@fouroakschamber.com or 919-963-4004.

Saturday, April 21, 12 p.m.

Swift Creek Middle School PTA Fundraiser Swift Creek Middle, Clayton Help support the Swift Creek Middle School PTA by coming out for a spaghetti plate fundraiser, vendor fair and silent auction on Saturday, April 21 at the school. For more information, email starla.nichols04@gmail.com or call 919-215-1573.

Saturday, April 21, 7 p.m.

Everly Brothers Experience Rudy Theatre, Selma Check out the Everly Brothers Tribute Band at the Rudy. In January of 2016, brothers Zachary and Dylan Zmed and their partner Burleigh Drummond began developing The Everly Brothers Experience show. Since then they have celebrated the pivotal sounds of their music with enthusiastic crowds all across the U.S. and overseas in iconic clubs, theaters, performing arts centers, casinos, ballrooms and coliseums. For tickets, visit rudytheatre.com/tickets.

Saturday, April 28, 4 p.m.

Ebenezer United Methodist Fish and Shrimp Fry Devil’s Racetrack Road, Four Oaks Ebenezer United Methodist Church in the Bentonville Community is having a Fish and Shrimp Fry fundraiser. Plates are $12 to dine in and is all-you-can-eat fish, shrimp or a combination. Eat-in plates for children 12 and under are $6. All takeout plates are also $12. The country store at the supper will feature homemade cakes, pies, candy, cookies and other items. The public is invited to attend. For more information, call Mary Kay Cox at 919-934-7195.



United Community Bank and Four Oaks Bank will soon join forces. Together, we’re excited to continue to provide the exceptional level of service you’ve come to know and expect. Our decisions will be local, our relationships will be personal and our focus will be on the communities we serve. Our roots run deep in the central North Carolina community, and they’ll only grow stronger with United, ‘The Bank That SERVICE Built®. ‘ BENSON | 200 East Church Street | 919-894-1800 CLAYTON | 102 East Main Street | 919-553-2323 FOUR OAKS | 6144 US Highway 301 South | 919-963-2177 GARNER | 200 Glen Road | 919-662-9005 SMITHFIELD | 128 North Second Street | 919-989-6700

Member FDIC. © 2018 United Community Bank | ucbi.com/fouroaks


12450 Cleveland Rd Suite 103 Garner, NC 27529 (919) 277-0490

APRIL 2018 | 39