October 2019

Page 1

October 2019

| Your Community. Your Neighbors. Your Story.

FALL FUN A sneak peek at the Clayton

Harvest Festival

A look back at

Selma’s history

STEM meets

girl power




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ON THE COVER Frankenstein joins the “Thriller” Flash Mob. Photo taken by Martha Johnson.


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Volume 3, Number 11

A Shandy Communications, LLC publication

Publisher Randy Capps


General Manager

Shanna Capps shanna@johnstonnow.com

Creative Consultant Ethan Capps

Advertising Manager Irene Brooks

Office Manager Katie Crowder Senior Graphic Designer Tuesdaie Williams Editorial Consultants Mike Bollinger, Rebecca J. Blair Interested in advertising? Send an email to hello@johnstonnow.com or call 919-980-5522

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 102 N. Main St., Four Oaks, N.C. 27524 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. ©2019 Johnston Now. All rights reserved.


























Senior pictures bring home flood of memories There’s nothing that puts me in touch with my own mortality quite as quickly as watching my son grow up.

I’ve gotten used to this phenomenon, but even that acceptance didn’t prepare me for the return of his senior pictures.

The baby boy that once fit neatly in the crook of my arm now looks down at me when we stand toe-totoe. While wearing a bigger shoe size. With more hair.

It was an envelope of emotions. There was happiness that we’ve finally taught him how to smile in his poses. There was some angst when we looked at the price list. But most of all, there was pride.

I might have the heart of a young man, but I have the body of an old one — and it’s a fact that is brought home when I see my son do grown-up things like trying to grow a beard.

Somewhere in the middle of the pack were his cap and gown pictures. And it all hit me at once. The day “experts” told us that he

may never speak, read or write. The day we found out he had autism. And every day since that he’s worked hard to be the best young man he can be.

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It’s been an amazing journey, and even though it makes me feel older and older all the time, I’m happy to be a part of it. Now, if he’ll just stop stealing my hats.

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GARNER – Just Dog People was named Retailer of the Year for Concept and Innovation for the 2019-2020 Pet Product News Retailer of the Year Awards recently, honoring outstanding pet specialty retailers across the country. Each year, Pet Product News searches the country to find outstanding pet retailers who are moving the industry forward. With over 10,000 independently owned pet-specialty stores across the country, this can be a daunting task. The concept and innovation award is given to a retailer each year who demonstrates an “outside the box” way of thinking. Just Dog People has done just that! Just Dog People is the only dog specialty store in the Triangle area, and one of a few across the country, specializing in “allthings dog.” Opened in 2016 by Jason and Katie Ast, Just Dog People has

quickly become a trusted resource for dog lovers within not only the Garner community, but the Triangle area as a whole. Many dog owners travel miles for personalized harness fittings in the JDP Custom Harness Fitting Section, one-on-one food consultations with a pet nutrition guru or pet intolerance testing and consultations from dog owners who have gone through the frustration of trying to find what could be causing their dog to itch and scratch all year long. “What an amazing and unexpected honor,” Katie Ast said. “We’re just a dog store in Garner — we never thought we’d win an award like this!” “It’s amazing what happens when your expertise finds your passion,” Jason Ast said. “We put all of our energy into helping dog owners in our community, and our reward is their trust and loyalty. We’re blessed to be able to use our passion for dogs to serve our community.”

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DR. JIM CAUSBY NAMED INTERIM SUPERINTENDENT Submitted by Johnston County Public Schools

like going home. I served 10 wonderful years in Johnston County as superintendent and still have many very dear friends here and have many staff members that I hired when I was superintendent. Johnston County is truly a unique place that has placed the education and welfare of its youth as a number one priority.”

SMTIHFIELD — Johnston County Public Schools welcomed Dr. Jim Causby as interim superintendent on Tuesday, Sept. 3. “The Johnston County Board of Education feels that Causby’s experience and commitment to education will allow for a smooth transition in leadership,” said Johnston County Board of Education Chairman Mike Wooten. Causby, who previously served as superintendent for the district from 1994-2004, said he is excited to be back in Johnston County. “It feels great. It is unusual for a former superintendent to be asked to return to a school system, and I deeply appreciate the confidence in me expressed by the Board of Education,” said Causby. “This is truly almost

Causby, a native of McDowell County, has an extensive and successful career in North Carolina’s public education system, including 30 years as superintendent in six districts. He is currently semi-retired and works as an education and marketing consultant. He has a wide range of experience from the classroom to the central office, starting out as a teacher and coach before moving up to principal and ultimately superintendent positions. Causby said he looks forward to the opportunity to lead Johnston County Public Schools and he understands what it means to serve as the interim superintendent. “Usually the basic role of an interim superintendent is to maintain a school system while the Board of Education hires a new permanent superintendent. There is no need to establish new programs or efforts since a new superintendent will

want to do that as part of their work once they are on board,” said Causby. “The situation in Johnston County is different from a normal system situation, so I will need to adapt my efforts to deal with that and the ramifications that result because of it.” According to Causby, his primary responsibility will be to restore the public’s trust in the school system as well as to identify priority areas that need attention and some adjustment. “My primary goal will be to restore staff and public confidence in the Johnston County Public Schools. A return to normalcy is badly needed, and the people and resources needed to achieve that are available,” he said. “There is a strong need to quickly make some final decisions on the Clayton High School principal situation, and I will give the investigation an in-depth look and make a decision on the appropriate path forward as quickly as possible. Of course there is also a need for improved staff morale, and I will work hard to see improvement there. Johnston County Public Schools staff is made up of exceptionally qualified and loyal employees, and I will support them fully. We will focus every decision we make with consideration of

what is best for students.” In addition to the 10 years he spent with Johnston County Public Schools, Causby has also seen success as a superintendent leading Swain County Schools for 11 years and Polk County Schools for five years. He also served as interim superintendent of Hickory City Schools in 2011. From 2004 to 2013 Causby led two statewide organizations, serving as Executive Director of the North Carolina Association of School Administrators (NCASA) and the North Carolina School Superintendents Association (NCSSA). His exemplary service and leadership have often been recognized; he was named NC Superintendent of the Year three times and was named to the Order of the Long Leaf Pine – North Carolina’s highest civilian award. Causby has an impressive academic background as well. He completed his undergraduate degree and a master’s in elementary education at Western Carolina University. He obtained his education specialist degree from Appalachian State University in 1975 and his doctorate in education administration from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 1988.

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Thank you to our Superintendent’s Club sponsors for their commitment to our community.

shows in 2020. Friday, February 21 New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players I’ve Got A Little Twist

Friday, March 20 Susan Werner & David Myles

Saturday, April 18 Brad Upton & Don Friesen

Gad Consulting Services United Community Bank WKJO Country Superstars 102.3 Jesse & Lyn Austin Jocky & Kit Creasy Grifols

HomeTowne Realty Mike & Pam Marvel Jody McLeod Design

INFO & TICKETS 919-553-1737 or online at: Ticket prices do not include sales tax & fees.



November 9, 8 PM

Nia Franklin, Soprano

Christin Danchi, Violin

Joey Chang, Piano

Jonathan Levin, Piano

Clayton Piano Festival presents the final performance of its 8th season at The Clayton Center. The Clayton at 150 Gala celebrates Clayton’s 150th year. Hosted by special guest performer, 2019 Miss America Nia Franklin, the program includes multiple performers and genres on piano, voice and strings, interspersed with poetry and short documentary film clips that capture the people and influences in the area. The program will follow a narrative which presents many of the themes of life in Clayton and Johnston County from years past to the present day. A reception is included. $ 20 claytonpianofestival.org


December 6, 8 PM On season 6 of American Idol, Melinda Doolittle stunned both the audience and the judges with her powerhouse vocals and her personal charm. She placed third in the voting, and has since gone on to thrill audiences everywhere from the Rock and Rock Hall of Fame to The White House, from the Copa Room to Carnegie Hall. You will not want to miss this soulful songstress as she presents The Great American Soul Book, sprinkled with some holiday spirit. $ 28 melindadoolittle.com



SMITHFIELD — Dr. Linda Smith is Johnston Community College’s new vice president of instruction. Smith, JCC’s former associate vice president of health, wellness and human services, started her new role a week before the start of the fall semester. Needless to say, she’s been busy making sure classes get off to a great start.

Smith hit the ground running and is spending quality time building relationships with campus divisions and departments. “Instruction touches every division, as well as multiple departments,” she said. “I plan to visit each department to reestablish relationships now that I’m in a different role. I’m very excited about the opening of the Student Success Center, and I believe instruction should be there to support the center to ensure it is a home run.”

“I’m very excited and look forward to the challenge,” Smith said. “I love JCC. I love the students and the employees of JCC.”

During her 20 years at JCC, Smith has served as department chair of health care technology, director of nursing education, dean of health sciences and associate vice president of health, wellness and human services before being named vice president.

Dr. David Johnson, JCC president, said Smith will bring great vision to the college. “Linda has served JCC well for about 20 years and will make a great addition to the Administrative Council team,” he said. “Her allegiance to the college, including employees and especially students, was a driving force in making this decision.”

Smith says the college’s Strategic Enrollment Management (SEM) committee is making strides with enrollment growth and she is excited about new initiatives such as the development of a virtual college, expanded course offerings in western Johnston County, and strengthening the Career and College Promise (CCP)

program. She also supports efforts to increase programs, hopes to implement creative scheduling, plans to review procedures to ensure the best experience for students, and wants to work collaboratively with faculty and staff. “There will be challenges with the state budget, but I do believe we can look at strategic and creative ways of doing things to move us in the right direction,” she said. “It’s a collaborative effort and it’s going to take all of us. We have so many opportunities out there that will be rewarding for our community and our students and I’m excited to be a part of it.” Smith earned her PhD in nursing from East Carolina University; her master of science degree in nursing from Armstrong Atlantic State University; and her bachelor of science degree in nursing from Boston College. She lives in Clayton with her husband, Harry, and their goldendoodle, Bob. They have one grandchild and two more on the way.

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CLAYTON PIANO FESTIVAL PREPARES FOR 2019 SEASON Submitted by Clayton Piano Festival

composer will present a special evening of music with spooky or fantasy themes, including his own compositions and arrangements. There will also be a costume contest for audience members, the winner of which will win a pair of free tickets to the Nov. 4 event at Portofino. Ticket packages for both events, or just the concert, are available. Classical Masterworks - Zsolt Bognár: November 4, 7 p.m., Piazza at Portofino, Clayton — Known to many around the globe in musical and cultural circles, Zsolt Bognár is host of the award-winning film series “Living the Classical Life.” As concert pianist, he frequently gives inspiring performances and lectures in North America, Europe and Asia. In this performance, he will take concertgoers on a journey through some of the world's greatest classical piano music in his inimitable and candid style of presentation and performance. A reception will follow. Living in the Moment - Joey Chang: November 6, 7:30 p.m., Cary Arts Center — Classically trained prodigy pianist, composer and multi-genre improviser, Joey Chang, is a unique rising star on the musical scene in New York City since graduating from Julliard in 2017. His chameleon-like skills allow him to collaborate with another instrumentalist. He will create his own program for CPF, including collaborations with another instrumentalist and a dancer, film and audio/visual projections and audience requests.

CLAYTON — Once again, artistic director and founder of the Clayton Piano Festival, Jonathan Levin, has created a program of depth and variety to bring classical music to Johnston County and the Triangle area.

fun and enjoy amazing music, guided through the experience by performers who are as communicative with their performances as they are presenting the music to new audiences.

As the eighth season kicks off with a Halloween Gala at Broadslab Distillery and ends with the Town of Clayton's 150th Anniversary event celebrating the arts in Clayton, visitors and locals alike will find one or more concerts to enjoy.

“The idea is for those who aren’t classical enthusiasts to be able to discover something incredible they weren’t sure they would enjoy, and for those who are, to be able to listen with a fresh perspective.”

“It’s almost like having a live concert in your own living room,” Levin said. “There’s no need to know anything about the music before coming or to worry about uptight concert etiquette. People will have 14 | JOHNSTON NOW

This year's schedule includes: Halloween Gala: Oct. 31, 6:30 p.m., Broadslab Distillery, Benson — Dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m. with a concert by pianist David Brooks to follow. Brooks, a versatile pianist, violinist/violist and

Clayton at 150 Gala: November 9, 7:30 p.m., The Clayton Center — Clayton Piano Festival’s eighth season concludes with this celebration of Clayton's 150th year. Narrated by special guest performer, 2019 Miss America Nia Imani Franklin, the program will include multiple performers and genres on piano, voice and strings, interspersed with poetry and short documentary film clips capturing various people and influences in the area. The program will follow a narrative which presents many of the themes of life in Clayton and Johnston County from years past to the present day. For information on concert performers click www.claytonpianofestival.org/artists and to buy tickets, visit https://www. claytonpianofestival.org/2019season.











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By Sarah R. Coates, M.Ed, LPC, NCC I thought parenting a sometimes sass mouth tween-ager was getting hard, until I sat with her through her first real heartbreak. As her tears of disappointment poured and she buried her face in my chest, the mom in me wanted to take over. I wanted to give her all the pep talk I could muster, tied in with a bunch of hopeful Christian cliches to make her feel better.

But instead, I kept my mouth shut and held space for her to feel everything she needed to feel. Life will not stop hurling ugly insults at her. This is more or less the beginning of let downs. There will be break ups and colleges that say no. Jobs that choose others and fights with a spouse. But intuitively I knew, in her moment of brokenness, holding space for her was the safest and most comforting thing I could provide. It’s what I do with my patients every day. Why would I not do the same for this blue eyed wonder of my own? Our words can be helpful, but when a loved one is hurting, the greatest thing we can do for them is to sit with them. Words to a broken heart do not fix the pain. Words said to a broken heart are really only to comfort our discomfort of watching their pain. She crawled into bed with me about midnight and I rubbed her back as she fell asleep, just like she was two again. Get some rest I told her, in the morning you may feel differently. Sleep doesn’t change things, but it sure helps on perspective. As I drifted off, I reflected on the pain hurled at so many this past month. Families losing loved ones in senseless shootings, freak beach accidents taking the life of a Dad, a client who lost a parent unexpectedly. Life hurls pain, and our babies grow up. Heartbreak reaches us all, and I know that I want to do my best to hold space for these growing ones. Space for them to feel everything they need to feel when the heartbreaks come. Space to feel the raw emotions but also space to sleep. And when they wake, I hope they keep walking. Because just as life throws us disappointments, it also throws us joy.

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are retired public school teachers, and she shares their passion for children and education. At the ELC, she works with infants till they turn one year old. “I love helping them take their first steps, seeing them learn to clap and to give up bottles for sippy cups,” she said. Avery has a certification in early childhood education. Before joining Johnston Health 11 years ago, she worked at day care centers in Raleigh and Apex.

CEO Chuck Elliott congratulates Roni Avery, a teacher at the Johnston Health Early Learning Center, on being named Ambassador of the Month. At left is Helen Patterson, ELC director, and at right is Tim Hays, vice president of human resources, whose division includes the ELC.

SMITHFIELD — Roni Avery, a teacher at the Johnston Health Early Learning Center, has been named Ambassador of the Month. During a recent presentation, CEO Chuck Elliott said Avery sets the standard for the parent-child-and-teacher experience at the ELC.

“She shares ideas and feedback to ensure that children advance at the pace that’s right for them,” he said. “She talks with coworkers and parents to ensure that the children’s needs are met.” As part of the presentation, a parent wrote that there were many afternoons when

she wished she could take Avery home with her. “Seeing how she loves and cares for the children makes her such a lovable and valuable person,” she said. Avery, who grew up in Clayton, says she’s always loved children and enjoyed watching them grow. Both of her parents

She and her husband, Bobby, live in Princeton and have a grown son, Darius. Through the ambassador program, Johnston Health recognizes employees who go above and beyond the call of duty. They deliver quality care, foster teamwork, and offer excellent service. In addition to a designated month-long parking space, Avery will receive eight hours of paid time off.


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that did it (the first year).” Last year was the second time Johnson and his group performed. “We did it as a true flash mob,” he said. “People were in the crowd, and I was just coming down Main Street pulling the wagon that had our music and stuff in it. We would cue up the music and start into our routine. People would come in out of the crowd and we'd do our dance. At the end, we'd scatter back into the crowd again. “We were really well received. I thought it was a lot of fun. We had some people literally follow us all the way up the street to watch it.” This year's mob will gather on Thursday, Oct. 31 at 2 p.m. And Johnson is expecting the biggest mob yet.

CLAYTON — There are movies where, all of a sudden, the main character has a revelation and starts dancing. The music rises and total strangers join in, dancing in an oddly choreographed way. It's called a flash mob, and it's not exactly a common occurrence in everyday life. But Halloween is a day when strange things happen, a time when normal finds its definition stretched a bit more than usual. If you were standing in Downtown Clayton on Halloween last year, you witnessed a prime example. Tony Johnson, who's an architect for the other 364 days in a year, was pulling a wagon down Main Street while dressed in a zombie costume. He stopped periodically to dance, joined by his employees and a few other enthusiastic dancers, in an honest-to-goodness flash mob.

And they're doing it again this year. “It's amazing the number of parents and kids who are out there,” Johnson said. “We're talking two or three thousand. When we moved our office downtown a couple of years ago, we decided that we wanted to do something. Originally, the idea was that we were just going to put a table up and serve candy. I got to thinking about it and said, 'that's just not exciting enough.'” So, inspired in part by Jennifer Garner's Thriller Dance in “13 Going on 30,” the idea for the Thriller Flash Mob was born. A former staffer with a background in dance came up with some choreography, and the plan was set in motion. “We all learned the Thriller dance,” he said. “It took us about a month — well, it took me about a month. It took everyone else a few days to kind of learn it. It was just four us

The Clayton Rotary Club and other businesses have gotten on board, and the Clayton Woman's Club has donated the space for the group to practice. “We're kind of opening it up to anybody that wants to be a part of it,” Johnson said. “Have some fun, learn a dance and just kind of celebrate Halloween in a unique way.” While some dance experience might help you pick up the steps a bit quicker, it is not a requirement. “There's a preconceived notion that you have to have some ability to dance and you don't,” he said. “I am literally the person in the world that has the least amount of rhythm or dance ability. Anybody can do it. It's fun, and it's relatively easy in the grand scheme of things.” Want to get in on the fun? Email Jessie Brown at jessie@ tonyjohnsonarchitect.com for more information. October 2019 | 19

Across the hedge. Down the street. Around the block.



JCPS meeting or exceeding growth increased from 13 schools in 2018 to 26 schools in 2019. These numbers are based on the results of endof-grade and end-of-course tests in reading and math in elementary schools and English and math in high schools. Additionally, the district was able to reduce the number of its low performing schools from 16 to 14.

According to the school accountability data released to the State Board of Education on Sept. 4, Johnston County Public Schools doubled the number of schools that met or exceeded expectations for student gains.

been able to accomplish this past year as more of our schools met or exceeded growth,” said Deputy Superintendent Dr. Paula Coates. “We will continue to work hard to achieve even better results next year.”

“I am proud of what we have

The number of schools in

The accountability data released by the state also included the four-year Cohort Graduation Rate for the class of 2019. The JCPS fouryear graduation increased from 91.8 percent to 93.4 percent, surpassing the state graduation rate of 86.5 percent.

Other indicators of College and Career Readiness include: • Percent of students earning a Silver certificate or better on the WorkKeys assessment (taken by students who are Career and Technical concentrators during 12th grade year) increased to 70.9 percent compared to the state percentage of 65.5 percent. • Like the state, JCPS percentage of English Learners making adequate progress in language acquisition skills showed a decrease (45.3 percent to 39.4 percent). However, the JCPS percentage of 39.4 percent is slightly above the state percentage of 38.6 percent.




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FOUR OAKS — The Four Oaks Community Men's Outreach Organization hosted its 10th annual Back to School Giveaway recently at Barbour's Grove Park. The group, under the direction of its president, Chris Haley, provided backpacks, school supplies, fun, food, support, love and encouragement for students and parents alike. The organization traces its roots back more than 70 years. “The men met monthly at different places before purchasing a clubhouse,”

Patricia Chisholm-Jones, a daughter of one of the founders, said of meetings in 1945. “It was an oversized tool shed from the Atlantic Coastline Railroad Company. The club's name (at that time) was Willing Workers of Christianity.” The goals then were similar. The group provided support in the form of food, clothing, coal and wood for cooking needs. They also assisted with yard work in some cases. For more information on the Four Oaks Community Men's Outreach Organization, call 919-247-4568.

Easton was ready for his first day of kindergarten. His mother? “Not so much!” Photo by Lisa Ives October 2019 | 21


Chef Judith Cage, owner of Chef Judy’s Jaguar Grill at Johnston Community College, took home the grand prize of $10,000 recently when she beat out four other chefs on “Supermarket Stakeout,” a new reality show on Food Network. Cage wowed the judges with her Chinese shrimp and pork stir fry, scrumptious fried chicken, and succulent brown sugar salmon and homemade roux, not to mention her infectious personality. “I had such a great time,” she said. “This experience has been amazing. I love television, I love cooking, I love the exposure, I love the opportunity for North Carolina to look great.” She has competed on Food Network’s 22 | JOHNSTON NOW

“Chopped” before and she said this experience was just as awesome. “These shows really allow me to perform and show what I’m made of in the kitchen,” she said. “I was in my zone, had fun while I was cooking, met some amazing people all while showing my competitive side.” Hosted by chef Alex Guarnaschelli, “Supermarket Stakeout” features tough competitions where chefs have to think fast and cook food using products out of bags and carts that have been brought from a supermarket. The ingredients will be a random selection of food products even if it includes one apple, a loaf of bread or a pack of diapers. The chefs still have to prepare a unique dish for the judges, all with the clock ticking. Cage said show producers noticed her on Instagram and contacted her last

spring about interviewing for a spot on the show. The episode was filmed in Los Angeles in May and Chef Judy said the competition challenged her to be her best. “They asked me lots of questions about my personality, cooking style, who I admire in the kitchen, my cooking point of view, what type of food I love to prepare, how I am in the kitchen and my creativity,” she said. “I was able to convince them that I was the right woman for the show. “I learned to push my fear aside and give it all I’ve got in any circumstance or any situation. No one’s more nervous when it’s time to perform, but you have to show out.” In addition to Chef Judy’s Jaguar Grill at JCC, she also owns Let Me Cater to You, a restaurant and catering business in Fort Bragg and Uptown’s Chicken and Waffles in Fayetteville.


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SMITHFIELD — The Smithfield Fire Department received a $22,000 grant from the Duke Energy Foundation recently to create powerful communities in Smithfield through assisting with storm related rescues to preserve human life. Duke Energy announced more than $1.1 million in funding to help North Carolina communities increase their response capabilities for future weather events with advance preparation and

planning. Sixty-five grant recipients across the state were selected from more than 140 applications, with projects ranging from swift water rescue equipment and specialized radios to nonprofit training and Spanish language outreach. “The overwhelming response to this grant opportunity underscores the profound need of our communities — many still recovering

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from the devastation of last year’s storms,” said Stephen De May, North Carolina president, Duke Energy. “We want to help our communities become more resilient to the impacts of a major storm. With the season’s first major hurricane forming in the Atlantic, we have a vivid reminder of the importance of advance planning.” “We are very excited about this opportunity provided by the Duke Energy Foundation Grant,” said Smithfield Fire

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Harmony Playground: Because every child deserves a chance to play CLAYTON — The sound of children laughing and playing can soften the hardest of hearts, and even in today’s political climate, making sure all children have safe places to play is a place where people can come together. That’s the idea behind the Harmony Playground, planned for East Clayton Community Park. “Harmony Playground is envisioned as an inclusive playground where children and guardians of all abilities can play and learn together,” Dean Penny, chairman of the Clayton Community Recreational Foundation’s board of directors, said. “The idea for this playground originated from a small group of citizens, some of who had family members with mobility or intellectual challenges. Clayton Town Councilmen Michael Grannis and Butch Lawter got involved, and along with Larry Bailey, the director of parks and recreation for the Town of Clayton, brought the project to the Clayton Community Recreational Foundation, to see if it was a project that the Foundation

was interested in assisting with.” Supporting the project was a slam dunk for the foundation. “The CCRF board fully supported the efforts to make this project a reality,” Penny said. “Johnston County is a tremendous place to live, work, and to raise a family, and the CCRF Board believes that adding Harmony Playground to our community will significantly enhance the quality of life for all of our citizens for generations to come. As such, (we) took over the lead role in fundraising, design and implementation of the project in the Fall of 2017.” There are places to play in the area already, but the Harmony Playground is more than just a set of swings. “Someone might ask, ‘why is a playground so important?’ More than 300,000 people live within 20 miles of this site, and more than 40,000 live with various disabilities — including 4,000 children with physical or mental challenges,” Penny said. “This playground will provide an opportunity for each of these, along with able-bodied people to play together. Research has shown that those children that can learn to overcome challenges through

play, have a much higher chance of growing up to be more productive adults. Harmony Playground will provide an opportunity for the youth of our community to grow up as higher achieving adults, thus enhancing our community for generations to come.” The completed Harmony Playground will include six unique play areas: · Active Play — a multi-level play area, with a fort structure that provides for active play in a variety of ways, on multiple levels. Each level will be fully accessible, and the play components will include climbing, slides and bridges. • Creative Play — an area with sand, water, and equipment that will spur the creative abilities of children. This area will have a construction theme, and will provide opportunities to build and create using basic materials. • Quiet Play — an area with a large “oodle” swing, along with “bee springer” riders and a log/tunnel apparatus for climbing and crawling. This area is aimed at allowing children the opportunity to explore, but while also allowing for quieter play. • Music — The N.C. State University Parks Scholars Class of 2019 have designed and created a series of musical components to allow children to create their own music using ordinary items. • Swings — An area with traditional swings.

• Super-Nova — One of the most popular playground equipment pieces in new playgrounds that provides the opportunity for active play. As is the case with most people who find themselves at the front of a charitable project, Penny has a personal motivation to see the playground come to life. “I have enjoyed the privilege of being born and raised in Clayton, as well as the benefit of raising my own children here,” he said. “I have witnessed firsthand how great this community is. Clayton, and Johnston County, have grown tremendously, and the needs of this community to enhance the quality of life we enjoy have grown also. I want my grandchildren to have a place to play, where they can also learn how to grow physically, and mentally, and to appreciate the uniqueness of every person. In addition, I want Clayton to be a place where children, of all abilities and challenges, can learn and overcome challenges through high quality play.” So far, the foundation has raised $750,000 of its $1.2 million goal towards the project. As it turns out, this month features several opportunities to help get the project over the finish line. The official groundbreaking is set for October 12 at 10 a.m. at East Clayton Community Park, the Harmony Golf Tournament is scheduled for October 18 at the Neuse Golf Club in Clayton and the CCRF’s annual gala is set for October 19 at the Farm at 42 in Selma.

The latter two events are fundraisers for the playground, and to learn more about them — and more about the Harmony Playground project, visit www.harmonyplayground.org.

'Fall' into some great events in Johnston County

Photos courtesy of Carly Fogleman Photography and the Johnston County Visitors Bureau

Festivals 43nd-annual Selma Railroad Days Festival — Set for Friday, Oct. 4 and Saturday, Oct. 5, Railroad Days includes a 5K run, parade, crafts, food, children’s area and even a large model train display at the Selma Train Depot, along with a variety of entertainment.

Bentonville Battlefield’s Fall Festival & Living History Program — There will be demonstrations regarding life on a late 19th century farm and what women and children had to do to maintain the homestead with men away at war on Saturday, Oct. 19.

Wilson’s Mills Pumpkin Festival — Slated for Saturday, Oct. 12, the Pumpkin Festival features retail and craft vendors, lots of children’s activities, a costume contest, face painting, inflatable games, a dunking booth, music and much more.

Smith’s Farm Annual Fall Festival — On Saturday, Oct. 26, you can pick your own pumpkin at the Fall Festival. With a bounce house and farm animals, this is an especially great festival for kids.

Four Oaks Acorn Festival — Set for Saturday, Oct. 12, come out to Downtown Four Oaks for family fun including a children’s carnival, live entertainment, handmade and artisan market, antique car and tractor show, food trucks, business expo and much more.

Clayton Harvest Festival — The annual festival runs from Oct. 30 through Nov. 3. The Clayton Chamber of Commerce’s 2019 Clayton Harvest Festival is fun for all ages. The Midway (carnival rides and games) sponsored by ElectriCities of NC will be open all five days of the festival. It also includes events such as

the Squealin’ on the Square BBQ competition and People’s Choice, the return of the Clayton Idol singing competition, Clayton’s largest vendor fair, a classic car show, concerts, a family movie night, a kid’s hot dog creation contest and a Latin American Festival. Learn more and check for the schedule at ClaytonHarvestFestival.com. Eighth-annual Shindig Music Festival — For beer and bluegrass enthusiasts, Saturday, Nov. 2 will have you sipping and singing along all-day with Americana and Bluegrass genre bands performing on two stages. Find these annual festivals, plus more events and activities, on the Johnston County Visitors Bureau calendar of events as well at johnstoncountync.org/events.

Fall Attractions Clayton Fear Farm (Daytime) — For a bit of non-haunted fun, you can visit this facility on Loop Road near Clayton. Check out hayrides, the pumpkin patch and a 3D adventure in Seymour’s House of Dreams. For more, visit claytonfearfarm. com/daytime. Clayton Fear Farm — When the sun goes down, things get a bit more scary. There’s a haunted hayride, Fear Farm Academy, a haunted cotton maze and much more. To learn more, visit claytonfearfarm.com/home.


Sonlight Farms — Head on over to Kenly to check out a corn maze, hayride, playground, bounce house, corn crib, 80-foot slide, pedal carts, games and concessions. Farm Daze is set for Oct. 12 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and there will be farm equipment on display as well as giveaways and crafts for the kids. The Black Out Challenge is from 7-9 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 26. This event ($5 admission) gives you the chance to conquer the corn maze at night.

For more information, email sonlightfarmsnc@ gmail.com or call 252-205-5280. Howell Woods — Experience hiking, camping, canoeing, bird watching, hunting, fishing and more at this 2,800-acre natural resource. On Oct. 30, enjoy a “spook-tacular” ride through Howell Woods and search for nocturnal animals such as bats and owls. Register by emailing t_stanforth@ johnstoncc.edu or by calling 919-938-0115. Cost is $5.

THINGS TO DO Wednesday, October 2, 6 p.m. Mountain Heart in concert Downtown Clayton The fun starts at 6 p.m. with food trucks, a bounce house, face painting, downtown vendors and more. Deep River Brewing Company will be serving all your local favorite brews. The Clayton Downtown Development Association will be selling wine and domestic beers, so bring your ID. Coolers are not permitted. October 4-5 Selma Model Train Display Selma Union Depot The 44th Annual Selma Railroad Days Festival is hosting the Neuse River Model Train Club. On Friday, October 4, starting at 9 a.m., the model train display will be open to the public at the Historic Union Depot in Uptown Selma. It will continue on Saturday, October 5, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. as well. Call Selma Parks and Rec Department at 919-975-1411 with any questions. Friday, October 4, 4-7 p.m. Spaghetti Fundraiser and Bake Sale Clayton Center for Active Aging The Clayton Center for Active Aging is having a Spaghetti Fundraiser and Bake Sale. Each plate is $8. For tickets or more information, call Crystal at 919-553-4350. Friday, October 4, 8 p.m. Marty Stuart in concert The Clayton Center Check out Marty Stuart in concert at The Clayton Center as he presents “The Pilgrim.” For more, visit www. theclaytoncenter.com. Saturday, October 5, 7:30 a.m. My Kid’s Club Selma Railroad Run and Walk 5K Don’t miss a 5K, held in conjunction with Selma Railroad Days, to benefit My Kids Club. Cost is $25 in advance and $30 on race day. For more information, email info@mykidsclub.org. Saturday, October 5, 9 a.m. Southland Car Club Fall Car & Truck Show Shelton’s Harley-Davidson, Smithfield Proceeds to benefit Southland Car Club’s High School Scholarship Program for graduating seniors in Johnston County. For more, visit www.sheltonshd.com/events.

Saturday, October 5, 11 a.m. International Food Festival St. Ann Catholic Church, Clayton Enjoy delicious food options from around the world, in addition to a flag presentation, a parade of nations and musical and dancing entertainment events throughout the day. Visit www. internationalfoodfestival.net for more information. Saturday, October 5, 4 p.m. Clayton Rotary Park groundbreaking West Main Street, Clayton Clayton Rotary Club is holding a groundbreaking for our Clayton Rotary Park. This will be a park that will be a place for people to visit, families or organizations to rent a picnic shelter and a place for educational programs. It will have a walking trail, sculpture, fruit trees, flowers and flowering plants to attract butterflies and bees. The Groundbreaking party will have a 4 p.m. groundbreaking and a 5 p.m. park party. Cost is $25 for adults and $10 for children under 12. There will be food, music and activities. For questions, please call Clayton Rotary Club President Ian Rumbles at 234-3480624 or email rumbles1@gmail.com. Saturday, October 5, 6:30 p.m. Sip + Paint — Feelin’ Witchy Wine and Design, Clayton No experience? No problem! Wine & Design provides a pre-designed canvas so you can stress less and create more and

artist instruction and supplies to create your masterpiece. BYOB, and ages 21 and up only. Friday, October 11, 7 p.m. Glowing Disc Golf Tournament East Clayton Disc Golf Course, Glen Laurel Road Come out for this distinctive disc golf tournament, played with glowing discs in the dark. Aim for illuminated baskets as you navigate the course with a UV flashlight. All tournament proceeds go toward the new Harmony Playground. Registration is $15, and pre-registration is required at www.ClaytonParks.org/ Register. Saturday, October 12, 4-7 p.m. Harvest Day Supper Stones Creek Advent Christian Church, Benson There will be a Harvest Day Supper on Saturday, October 12. There will be BBQ chicken plates for $8 each, eat in or take out, and the auction starts at 7 p.m. Saturday, October 12, 9 a.m. Selma Saturdays Arts and Crafts Market Uptown Selma Gather with friends and enjoy live local entertainment and browse local artists with hand-crafted items. For complete information, contact Melissa Dooley at 919-965-9841, ext. 8003, or email her at mdooley@selma-nc.com.

October 2019 | 31

Saturday, October 12, 10 a.m. Skyfest Johnston County Airport Skyfest will be a community festival with professional aerial demonstrations. This event includes parachute team jumps, flyovers, helicopter rappeling and other aerial performances. There will also be musical entertainment, special performances, static displays, food trucks, beer garden and a kids zone. Saturday, October 12, 8 a.m. Traditional Activities: Butter Making and Candle Making Tobacco Farm Life Museum, Kenly Learn all about butter and candle making. Visit www.tobaccofarmlifemuseum.org or call 919-284-3431 for further details. Saturday, October 12, 10 a.m. Harmony Playground Groundbreaking 1774 Glen Laurel Road, Clayton Join the Clayton Community Recreational Foundation, Caterpillar, Town of Clayton, playground sponsors and special guests as they celebrate this historic event. Saturday, October 12, 11 a.m. I AM Women’s Conference and Expo Johnston County Agricultural Center InsideOut Life Development is proud to invite all women, teen girls and little princesses to its I AM ______ Women’s Conference and Expo. Come be empowered, renewed and forever changed. This event will include extraordinary speakers presenting real world knowledge on how to be a woman of legacy and live out your true calling. Tickets are just $20. For more information, visit www.insideoutlifedevelopment.org/iam-womans-registration-page. Saturday, October 12, 5 p.m. Streatfreaks 11th Anniversary Celebration Streatfreaks Riders Club, Devil’s Racetrack Road, Four Oaks Celebrate StreatFreeks On/Off-Road Riders Club’s 11-year anniversary. The menu will be fish, chicken tenders, sides and desserts. Music by Mother Notes starts at 7 p.m. There will be corn hole, horse shoes and a pool table. Gates open at 5 with a $10 gate entry donation. A gun raffle will be held at 9 p.m. No BYOB or coolers and no children, please. Email streatfreeks@yahoo.com for more information. Friday, October 18, 6 p.m. Movie Night in Clayton Downtown Clayton See “Coco” under the stars in Clayton. There will also be face-painting, balloon animals, a bouncy house and games for the whole family.


Saturday, October 19, 8:30 a.m. Cleveland School Rotary Club’s Ninth Annual Dodgeball Tournament Cleveland High School Not only is this event always entertaining, it also helps the Rotary Club raise funds to give back to the community via service projects, volunteering, and donating throughout the year. They will have a DJ, concession stand, and everyone who walks through the door will be able to participate in our 50/50 raffle! For team registration forms, as well as sponsorship forms, please contact Lindsey Camper at Lcamper@crmincusa.com or Tim Sims at tsimsdds@yahoo.com. Saturday, October 19, 5 p.m. Harmony Playground Second Annual Black Tie Gala The Farm at 42, Selma Check out the Harmony Playground Second Annual Black Tie Gala fundraiser because every child deserves a chance to play. The event features Chris Archer, Deborah Holt-Noel, Chris Hendricks and keynote speaker Lauren Potter. Buy tickets and sponsorships at www. harmonyplayground.org or email info@ harmonyplayground.org for more details. Saturday, October 19, 6:30 p.m. Movie in the Park Smithfield Community Park Watch a movie under the stars. Bring a blanket or lawn chairs. popcorn and picnic-goers are welcome. Saturday, October 19, 7 p.m. Rivermist Band in concert Rudy Theatre, Selma See the Rivermist Band in concert, live at the Rudy. Visit www.rudytheatre.com for more information.

Thursday, October 24, 6:30-8:30 p.m. 15th Annual Historical Ghost Walk Riverside Cemetery, Smithfield A guided tour of Smithfield’s historic Riverside Cemetery, where small groups of visitors will hear brief stories from five fascinating personalities in Johnston County’s history. Starting at the corner of S. Second and E. Church Streets, beside St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students in grades K-12. Thursday, October 24, 6:45 p.m. Town of Smithfield Egg Haunt Smithfield Community Park Come dressed in your favorite costume. Everyone who participates will receive a hauntingly good gift. Bring a bag to collect your treasure. Ages 3-12 only. Friday, Oct. 25, 3:30-5:30 p.m. Halloween Hayride Clayton Community Park Meet Halloween characters, play games and win prizes as you ride around the trail at Clayton Community Park. The cost is $5 per child over the age of two. Adults ride for free. Friday, October 25, 6 p.m. Last Friday in Clayton Last Friday in Clayton’s main purpose is to showcase all the amazing things downtown Clayton has to offer. On the Last Friday of the month, from 6-10 p.m., local businesses open their doors for free events, exclusive savings and lots of fun. Neighborhood design studios, eateries and bars stay open late, put on extraordinary events and regularly offer refreshments.

Saturday, October 26, 10 a.m. Trunk or Treat Vendor Event Clayton General Store, Hwy. 70 W., Clayton Bring the kids out in their costumes and let them trick or treat all the great vendors.

Saturday, October 26, 6-8 p.m. Boo Bash - Halloween Special Needs Dance Clayton Community Center they’ve added a special Halloweenedition of our popular free dance for special needs participants in middle school, high school and adults. Come wearing your favorite costume — they just ask you wear soft-soled shoes so there’s no scuffing up the gym floor. We’re also adding games, such as limbo. Great volunteers from Clayton Youth Council and other organizations help make this possible.

Sunday, October 27, 4 p.m. 2019 Fall Festival and Trunk or Treat FBC Smithfield, S. 4th Street Wear your costumes (young and old!) and collect candy from the Trunk or Treat, enjoy an indoor/outdoor Fall Festival and free hot dog dinner for the whole family. There will also be lots of new carnival games with prize, a (cup)cake walk, face painting, pumpkin painting and decorating stations and more. Admission is free. Sunday, October 27, 4 p.m. Fourth Annual Pig and Pie Party Chickadee Farms, McLemore Road, Clayton Check out a premiere farm to fork event. There will be a pig picking with all the fixin’s, pie contest, music, kids crafts, farm tours and more! Tickets are available at www.chickadeefarmsnc.com.

Sunday, October 27, 5 p.m. Pumpkin Carving Party Archer Lodge Community Center Bring a pumpkin, soup and sandwiches to share, carving tools and a candle to a pumpkin carving party, sponsored by White Oak Baptist Church and the Archer Lodge Community Center. Saturday, November 2, 9 a.m. 4th Annual Touch-A-Truck Downtown Smithfield The 4th Annual Touch-A-Truck, hosted by The Junior Women’s League of Smithfield, is a unique and interactive fundraiser that allows children to see, touch and safely explore their favorite big trucks and heavy machinery, as well as to meet the personnel who protect, serve and build Johnston County communities. This event will also include food trucks, inflatables, special guests, face painting and so much more. Admission is free, and $5 wristbands will be available to purchase for inflatables, face painting, etc. Proceeds from Touch-A-Truck will benefit My Kids Club.

Saturday, October 26, 7 p.m. Rob’s Rockabilly Revival Rudy Theatre, Selma See Rob’s Rockabilly Revival, live at the Rudy. Visit www.rudytheatre.com for more information.

Saturday, October 26, 5:30-8:30 p.m. Kids Night Spooktacular SRAC When SRAC closes, the fun begins! Drop your kids (ages 5-10) off in a safe, supervised environment that is kid friendly and parent free. Swimming, gym time, snack and other organized activities are offered throughout the night. Activities will vary. The fee is $8 for Smithfield residents in advance, $13.50 for everyone else in advance and $5 for each additional child during pre-registration. Add $2 and $3 for residents and nonresidents at the door, respectively. For more information, call 919-934-1408.

Halloween Observances Princeton — Thursday, Oct. 31, 6-8 p.m. for kids ages 12 and under. Benson — Thursday, Oct. 31, 6 p.m.: Hallofest, Trunk or Treat on Main Street and Rivermist will perform at the Singing Grove. There will also be food trucks and kid’s games. Smithfield — Thursday, Oct. 31, 5-8 p.m. Kenly — Thursday, Oct. 31, 6-8 p.m. Four Oaks — Thursday, Oct. 31, 6-8 p.m. Clayton — Thursday, Oct. 31, 2-3:30 p.m. on Main Street and Town Square.

Selma — Monday, Oct. 28, 5 p.m.: Trunk or Treat Junction, Raiford Street. Cleveland area — Thursday, Oct. 31, 6:30 p.m., Cleveland Fire Department. Wilson’s Mills — Thursday, Oct. 31, 6-8 p.m. Pine Level — Thursday, Oct. 31, 6-8 p.m. Micro — Thursday, Oct. 31, 5-8 p.m.

October 2019 | 33


In July, employees of Caterpillar Clayton hosted the Techno Tigresses on a tour of their facility and test track.

It’s a woman problem. They all say it. Big business, media, government — there’s really no denying it. The fact is that the number of women in a vast array of STEM fields is small, and that needs to change. But as the North Carolina Department of Instruction kicks off its newest campaign to attract more women into the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) field of computer science, something more grassroots is taking place in Johnston County. Earlier this year, Clayton became home to the newest FIRST Lego League robotics team. This rookie team of middle-school students is only the sixth FLL 34 | JOHNSTON NOW

competition team registered from one of the state’s heaviest populated counties, and the first allgirl team to represent the area. FIRST is a STEMfocused, robotics program that was founded in 1989. The program promotes school-aged students working together to research real world problems, develop innovative solutions and present those solutions to panels of judges and community leaders, all while building and coding robots for regional, national and international competitions. Today, there are 600,000 students involved in FIRST programs across 112 countries. Teams can be organized within traditional schools, home

schools and communities. Leigh Dement, a Clayton native and co-coach of the Techno Tigresses, said that the team formed because several girls wanted a larger role in the design, build and coding of the robot, but on most teams these tasks are taken over by boys, which turned the girls off. Sydney Matisoff, a seventh grader at Neuse Charter School, home to the first FLL teams in the county, is a veteran of the robotics program; however Matisoff took a two-year break until she was asked to be a founding member of the Techno Tigresses in late February. “I didn’t have as much fun my first year because the boys treated me like

I was a baby,” she said. “There was only one other girl on the team and she was leaving, and the boys basically dominated everything.” Her plight of being in the minority was not uncommon. Kaitlyn Nolte, another seventh grader on the team, was the only middle-school girl at Southside Christian School taking a robotics elective course. “I wanted to take the class because I’ve been to a couple camps and have always been interested in robots,” she said. “I always thought it was fun to make your own machine and it do what you program it to do. I wish more girls would have been in the class.”

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funding from femaleowned and led businesses with additional support from individuals, educational institutions and organizations and firms with direct ties to STEM. Dr. Shaddha Patel, owner of Clayton Kids Dentistry, is one such sponsor. Patel said she’s excited to see an increase in participation of women in medical and dental fields, but she realizes the broad gaps that exist in other areas. Dawn Reid, owner of Archaeological Consultants of the Carolinas, led the Techno Tigresses on a historical dig of the old Clayton Mill in May.

What enticed these two young women, and their parents, to join the new team was not only the chance to have ownership of the robot, but something altogether different. As an all-girl team the female coaches put a heavy emphasis on meeting and talking with prominent women in STEM professions across the state. Dement knew first hand what an opportunity this would be for these young girls. The sophomore chemistry major at N.C. State University was captain of SmithfieldSelma High School’s robotics team her senior year. Female mentors in the STEM aspects of the competition were rare. “These girls get to meet so many fascinating women who work in careers where they are under-represented,” she said. “The support they’ve received not only locally, but across the state and nation has been incredible. Companies know they have to attract more women into STEM fields, and in order to do that you have to start 36 | JOHNSTON NOW

young.” So far the girls have toured Campbell University’s School of Engineering, met with the owner of NaturalMath. com who taught them to relate math and art, participated in an archaeological dig with the only female-owned engineering firm in Johnston County, toured the Caterpillar plant and test track facilities and learned how robotics plays a major role in their operations and spent time at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base learning about leadership, core values and how STEM plays a major role in U.S. military operations. Master Sgt. David Ewbank, noncommissioned officer in charge of the 916th Air Refueling Wing Explosive Ordinance Device flight, arranged for the girls to operate several bomb detection robots through a series of obstacle courses designed for them by the active duty Airmen of the 4th Fighter Wing EOD. Capt. Meghan Booze, an F-15E Strike Eagle pilot, inspired the team as well. Booze told the girls of the

challenges she faced to become a combat aircraft pilot even though the career field was opened to women in 1993. “Women make up about .8 percent of the fighter pilot population. There are only about 65 of us,” said Booze, who is also earning her master’s degree from Duke University in mechanical engineering. She told the group that even though there might not be many women mentors in their field of interest that they should never give up and always believe in themselves. Female role models have not only helped educate the team, but they’ve helped sponsor it too. Expenses for a competitive rookie team can add up. The EV3 Mindstorm robot used by most teams can cost just under $1,000 with additional parts, sensors, motors and storage. In addition the team is responsible for registration and competition fees, travel, marketing materials and training. The Techno Tigresses have received a good portion of their

“It seems a combination of gender bias, stereotypes, and an antiquated academic environment has limited the progress of female participation in STEM,” she said. “Through sponsoring activities such as this team I hope to foster curiosity and a sense of achievement for women in fields that have been historically less welcoming to them.” Their competition began in early August, and the team is off to a strong start researching their project topic and building their robot strategy. “Our team is awesome because it is all girls and we have a lot of fun,” Matisoff said. “We’re good at teamwork and we communicate with each other. It isn’t like one of us is taking over. We work well together.” “This is a very good experience and opportunity because I get to learn more, not just about robotics but about STEM,” Nolte added. “I’m definitely working with robots one day.” To learn more about the team you can follow them on Facebook at Techno Tigresses #44406.

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Third-generation family business, Carfix, serves local community with customer-focused auto repair


l s w y Carfix in Garner recently celebrated its 15th birthday, but co-owner Mike Allen’s roots in the auto service industry date back much farther. His grandfather, Louis Allen, opened Allen’s Service Station in White Cross in 1927 and operated it for over 50 years. His father, James, owned Auto ProtoCall in Chapel Hill for 30 years. So, one might say that fixing cars is in his DNA. “My father grew up in his dad’s shop,” Allen said. “He went away to college and tried other fields for a short time before coming back to the industry. I grew up in my father’s shop. I went away to college and tried other fields for a short time before coming back to the industry. Now my kids are growing up at Carfix! I guess time will tell if we are a four-generation family business.” It’s impossible to stay in business in a small community without referrals and good customer service. Carfix is no exception, listing a set of core values on its website that include things like, “act with integrity and honesty,” “treat everyone how you want to be treated” and “see a need, take action.”

“Our core values were a collaborative effort,” Allen said. “Several years ago my father and I, along with several of our key staff (members), worked on this over a period of a few weeks. We wanted to speak to our personal core values. “Fixing cars is what we ‘do,’ but it’s not who we are. Ultimately, we enjoy helping people. We want to do right by people — our clients, our community and our team. I think the core values are a good reflection of that commitment.” Doing right by people extends outside the garage walls as well. Carfix is also a community partner, sponsoring sports teams, hosting booster club events and helping sponsor the annual Strawberry Festival. “We’ve been fortunate enough to be involved in many different events in the area over the years,” Allen said. “We’ve had fundraiser events for wounded veterans. We’ve been able to bless several families with refurbished cars through Raleigh’s ‘Wheels 4 Hope’ program.

“My favorite community event by far was last year’s ‘Ryder’s Race’ — a 5K charity fun run that we co-hosted along with Cleveland Family Health and Charlie’s BBQ. We were able to raise a lot of money to help a wonderful little boy in our community and I was able to run my first (and only!) 5K race. If you were there, I was the crazy guy running in a giraffe costume!” Inside the garage, Carfix takes its customerdriven approach a step further. What are the largest obstacles people face when getting a vehicle serviced? Time, convenience and cost. Carfix takes aim at all three. “My wife and I have three small children and work full time, so we know how important time is and how hard it is to juggle busy schedules, especially with kids and work responsibilities,” Allen said. “Plus, we both drive cars with over 300,000 miles on them. “In order for a car to last that long, it needs to get regular maintenance and repairs. That means,



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Carfix stands behind its work, too. “We have the best auto repair warranty in all of North Carolina — five years, 50,000 miles,” Allen said. “We want all our customers to be 100 percent satisfied, and we go above and beyond to serve people well! Carfix has plans to help even more people, as it has added to its leadership team.

Carfix owner, Mike Allen, and his three children.

like every car, our cars spend some time in the shop, too. We know how difficult it is to keep up with the kids, work and responsibilities when your car is in the shop. “We don’t want our customers to sacrifice their lives and schedules just because they are being responsible and taking care of their vehicles. So we do everything, and I mean everything, we can to make it easy and convenient for our customers to take care of their vehicles. We offer free loaner cars, free valet services — we will pick up your car from work, home or anywhere locally, drive it to the shop and return it back to you for free so you never need to miss work or life — free rides to work or home from the shop (and back) so you don’t need to coordinate with friends and family and get someone else to pick you up and more.”

vehicle, we can help,” Allen said. “To that end, we employ only ASE certified mechanics, and we invest heavily in the latest training so we can stay up to date on the rapid evolution of our industry. Every mechanic at Carfix undergoes at least 40 hours of continuing education every year. “Currently, all of our technicians are either Master Certified Mechanics or they will be by the end of the year. Our technicians have a combined 110 years of experience and our front office has 55 combined years of experience, so I guess you could say we are well rounded.”

“The Carfix ‘family’ has expanded,” Allen said. “We now have Jonathan Harris as a partner in our ventures — he joined the team as a partner in 2017 and has really been key in helping us grow. He has also spent most of his life in the auto industry and he has three amazing children. “Jonathan will be here every day making sure that we keep giving the Cleveland community the great level of service they deserve.” To learn more about Carfix, visit www.carfixautorepair.com.

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On top of that, there are financing options available so clients don’t have to pay all of a large repair bill at once. Having a positive attitude and good customer service is a good start for an auto service business, but it also needs skilled personnel to complete repairs completely and efficiently. “Carfix tries to offer complete transportation solutions for our clients — if it involves your

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SMITHFIELD — Lynn J. Good, chairman, president and CEO of Duke Energy Corp., was the keynote speaker at a broker/consultant “fly-in” held at Johnston Regional Airport (JNX) recently. The crowd included national location advisors, industrial property brokers and real estate professionals, as well as local, regional and state economic development leaders and private allies. “Not only are we dedicated to providing affordable and reliable service, which we know all of you count on, but also to the partnerships that are important around community initiatives in economic development,” Good told participants gathered under a tent on the JNX tarmac. “Thank you for your partnership and the fact that we work so well together. We really look forward to ways to continue to support making Johnston County all that it can be.” Good and others speaking at the event praised Johnston County leaders for their vocal

advocacy for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP), a $7 billion initiative that will upgrade North Carolina’s natural gas network. The project, a partnership among Duke Energy, Dominion Energy and other utilities, has been held up by legal action from environmental opponents. Johnston County is among several North Carolina counties the pipeline will traverse and is set to benefit from construction jobs and, once complete, new property tax-base. “We see ACP as infrastructure that will be important for this region, not only for delivering natural gas but for powering generation and economic development for years to come,” said Good. “It takes all of us to make commonsense arguments about why infrastructure, business development and economic development are so important. We’re anxious to get 4,500 people back to work on this project and get it into service, and we look forward to ways


we can continue to work with you to support this project as we go forward.” Among the site-selection consultants participating in the fly-in was James Blair, managing director at Navigator Consulting LLC, which has offices in Atlanta, Jackson, Miss. and Dusseldorf, Germany. “I can only participate in a limited number of community tours,” said Blair. “But when I had a chance to get to know this growing and successful region better, I definitely wanted to explore developments 30 minutes east of Raleigh.” He called his helicopter tour of Johnston County “spectacular,” enabling him to view the county’s available and newly-developing industrial properties. “For such visits, helicopter transport is no luxury but rather an essential tool to see and appreciate industrial sites from the air,” Blair said. Jordan Holt, director of

business development at Bordeaux Construction Company in Raleigh, called her aerial tour “fabulous.” “It was a really good overview of the various assets, including access to rail and I-40, proximity to Raleigh and connectivity to other parts of the state,” said Holt. “Seeing everything by air is a unique way to experience the story of Johnston County and how it’s growing.” Among local leaders participating in the fly-in was Ted Godwin, chairman of Johnston County’s Board of Commissioners. He said the helicopter tours showcase the county’s economic engines, appealing quality of life and more. “Once you’re up in the air, you get a different perspective,” said Godwin. “You can certainly see all the roof tops, but you also see plenty of greenspace. You can see that we have great infrastructure as well as the fact that we have ample room to grow.”

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and chemicals was insufficient. At 2:47 a.m., the cargo in the munitions truck exploded, blasting a hole 30 by 40 feet deep, making a sound that could be heard in Rocky Mount, and creating a fireball that could be seen in Raleigh. The Catch-MeEye complex and neighboring businesses were damaged beyond repair. The Hotel Talton was completely leveled, only its chimney survived.

The early hours of March 7, 1942 seemed normal to Officer Charlie Straughan, at least until he heard at 1:15 that a car had crashed into a truck at the intersection of U.S. 70 and U.S. 301. Known as Catch-Me-Eye after the original name of its tavern, currently Gurkin’s Tavern, this staple of Selma nightlife also included a gas station and some cabins. The higher-class Hotel Talton stood on the other side of U.S. 301. By the time Straughan arrived with the fire truck, the situation had become very serious. The car contained six people, a married couple, their two sons and two off-duty Marines who had hitched a ride with them. The driver, Minnie Lewis, collided with the truck as

The explosion was so violent that many people thought they were under attack from Germany or Japan. Only three months before, on December 7, 1941, “a date which will live in infamy,” in the words of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Japanese aircraft launched a devastating raid on the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

she was making a turn. Both vehicles immediately caught fire. The family and Marines frantically tried to get out, but the doors were jammed. Eventually, Odie Lewis managed to kick the glass out of the front passenger window at the cost of breaking his ankle. Bernard Rosenberg, one of the Marines, then sprang into action. After crawling through the broken window from the back seat, he opened the door and got the Lewis family and his fellow Marine, Jimmy Blackstrom, to safety. They did not know it yet, but the truck was carrying 40,000 pounds of “pistol bombs” to Fort Bragg. Officer Straughan and Selma fire chief John Jeffreys did not know either, but they attempted to put out the flames at once. However, their supply of water

Four days later, Japan’s German allies, who had gained similar infamy due to their bombing campaign against Britain, officially declared war on the United States. It is not surprising, then, that the explosion near Selma prompted fears of German or Japanese air attack. Of course, the blast was no such thing, but it was still a jarring reminder to Johnston County folk that they were part of a nation at war. If the Japanese Empire had not attacked Pearl Harbor, then no munitions truck

would have been bound for Fort Bragg. This was not the only impact of the war on the home front. Soldiers had already been stationed in the Selma area because of its strategic value on the route from Raleigh to the Atlantic, rationing would soon bring hardship, and many young men would be drafted to fight one or both of America’s archenemies. Nevertheless, for sheer drama and tragedy, nothing could outdo the Catch-Me-Eye disaster. Congress voted in 1959 to offer compensation to the victims. The money, however, could not restore the lives lost. The explosion killed seven people, including Minnie Lewis, who died of burn injuries. Officer Straughan and fire chief Jeffreys were among more than 60 injured after being thrown to the ground by the blast, suffering serious bruises and lacerations. Bernard Rosenberg was also injured, having been burned during his heroic rescue mission. The American Legion chapter of Selma is currently campaigning for him to be posthumously awarded the Purple Heart. Benjamin Sanderford, a resident of Clayton, studied social science at UNC Greensboro. He can be reached at benwsanderford@gmail.com.


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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. NAMI support groups The Johnston County Affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness offers weekly support groups for those suffering from mental illness (Connection) as well as their loved ones and friends (Family Support). Regular meetings are now held in Benson, Clayton, Selma and Smithfield. For more information, please either call NAMI Johnston County at 919-464-3572; email at namijcnc@gmail.com or visit www.namijcnc.net.

Rudy Theatre Classic Country Jubliee The Classic Country Jubilee is underway at the Rudy. For dates and times, visit rudytheatre.com. Every Monday, 7:30-8 p.m., Tuesday, 10 a.m.-noon, Wednesday, 7:30-8 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. Last Wednesday, 8:30 a.m.

Coffee Club Edward Jones, Hwy 70 Bus. West, Clayton Join a coffee club, hosted by Edward Jones Financial Advisor Brad Palmer, and discuss current events, the economy, and investing in a relaxed and informal setting. It’s a great way to get to know one another. Coffee and breakfast pastries provided. Call Christine at 919-879-8974 or email brad.palmer@edwardjones.com by the Friday prior to RSVP. Every Monday and Wednesday, 6 p.m.

Smithfield Running Club Join the Smithfield Running Club each week to meet new people, get back in shape, train for races and explore the growing downtown area of Smithfield. For more information, find them on Facebook by searching for Smithfield Running Club or email smithfieldrunningclub@gmail. com.


Every Monday and Thursday

Senior Adult Activity Center First Baptist Church Ministry Center, Smithfield Serving men and women 60 years and over, ARC provides a structured program with stimulating activities, socialization, a snack and lunch. For more information, contact Barbara Smith at 919-934-9771 or email arc@fbcsmithfield.org. 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. First and third Tuesdays, 6 p.m.

Smithfield Lions Club Golden Corral, Smithfield This group gathers for fellowship and a meal (self-paid), and the meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. Come learn about the club and how it helps with local community service projects. For more information contact, Karen Brown at 919-934-2555. First and third Thursdays, 6:45 p.m.

Clayton Civitan Club meeting Clayton Civitan Building, McCullers St., Clayton Join the Clayton Civitan Club for its monthly meetings. Call 919-550-0694 for more information. Second Wednesday, 11:30 a.m.

Johnston County Chapter of National Association of Active and Retired Federal Employees Golden Corral, Smithfield Join the Johnston County Chapter of National Association of Active and Retired Federal Employees for their monthly meeting on the second Wednesday of each month at Golden Corral. Stay up to date on the latest educational programs and federal and state legislation affecting current federal employees and retirees. To learn more, email bhwoodard25@aol.com.

Second Wednesday, noon The Woman’s Club of Clayton meeting 109 Church Street, Clayton The Woman’s Club of Clayton (TWCC) is a nonprofit philanthropic organization made up of professional women who share a common goal: to work together to improve our local community, socially, physically, culturally and educationally. Please consider joining us and help us serve those in need of assistance. TWCC meets at noon the second Wednesday of each month (except June, July and August). Second Thursday, 6 p.m.

Johnston County Writers Group Public Library of Johnston County and Smithfield Join a hard-working group of local writers and poets, beginner to advanced, who network, critique each other’s work, listen to guest authors and organize open mics and write-ins around the county. It’s free and open to the public. For more information, email facilitator Cindy Brookshire at jocowriters@gmail.com. Third Monday, 6-7:30 p.m.

Kiwanis Club of Clayton, N.C. Cleveland Draft House, U.S. 70 Business The Kiwanis Club of Clayton, N.C., serves the community with emphasis on school youth Kiwanis programs. It advises two local high school KEY (Kiwanis Educating Youth) clubs and one elementary school club and meets each month. For more information, email president Jack Tucker at mrtcpa@gmail.com or call 805-3779573. 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 919-965-3865 with any questions. Third Wednesday, 11:45 a.m. Clayton Women In Business meeting Rainbow Lanes, Clayton Clayton WIN’s core purpose is to support emerging and established women entrepreneurs, leaders and other


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professionals, empowering them through mentoring, learning, development and professional networking thereby giving back to the community. For more information, visit www.ClaytonWin.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 Thursday, 6:45 a.m. Clayton Rotary Morning Club Rainbow Lanes, Clayton Every Thursday morning, 70 serviceminded 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, 6:15 p.m. Clayton Area Toastmasters meetings JCC Workforce Development Center, Clayton Clayton Area Toastmasters is a public speaking club in affiliation with Toastmasters International. For more, visit claytontm.com.

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.

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Third Thursday, 6 p.m. Four Oaks American Legion Ladies Auxiliary meeting American Legion Building, Hwy. 301, Four Oaks All veterans’ wives are encouraged to attend the monthly meeting of Four Oaks American Legion Post 346 on the third Thursday of each month at 6 p.m.



First Thursday, 6:30 p.m. Four Oaks American Legion meeting American Legion Building, Hwy. 301, Four Oaks All veterans are encouraged to attend the monthly meeting of Four Oaks American Legion Post 346 on the first Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m.

Every Thursday (through Dec.), noon Free Child Fingerprinting Blackman Detective Services, Benson Road, Garner Get your children fingerprinted, courtesy of Blackman Detective Services. There will be fruit snacks and free coffee available. Kids and parents can meet with detectives to ask questions and see some cool gear. Parents take home the prints along with a free file of information to fill and keep handy at home.

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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.




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Third Thursday, 6:30 p.m. Democratic Women of Johnston County meeting St. Paul’s Episcopal Church of Smithfield The Democratic Women of Johnston County have a monthly meeting on the third Thursday of the month. For more details, visit www.jcdp.org/dwjc.

Third Saturday, 1 p.m. Refreshing Springs Outreach Ministries Fairfield Inn and Suites, Smithfield Come out to worship and fellowship with a growing ministry at Fairfield Inn & Suites-Marriott. For questions, email Rev. Pam Ballard at pballard@ refreshingspringsrc.com or call 919-5857497.

First Friday of the month, 7:30-9 a.m. Greater Cleveland Chamber of Commerce Member Breakfast Cleveland Draft House, Garner Join the Greater Cleveland Chamber of Commerce for its free member breakfast each month. Contact the chamber at 919773-8448 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. Last Friday Free carriage rides, Clayton Enjoy free carriage rides in downtown Clayton. Every last Friday, there will be free horse-drawn carriage rides. Come out and explore the downtown Clayton area and go for a nice ride with Southern Charm Carriages. For more details, call 919-946-0924. Last Friday, 6:30 p.m. Johnston County Writers Group Open-Mic Night Selma Historical Museum Perform your original music, poetry, short stories and screen play snippets in front of a live audience. Writers, singers and musicians of all styles and skill levels can showcase their talent.

Last Saturday, 1 p.m. Crafter’s Day James Bryan Creech Public Library, Four Oaks Bring your latest arts and crafts items to share and work with other like-minded people. Learn new techniques and find out how others do things. Have a little coffee while you’re at it. First Sunday, 9 a.m. Special Needs Ministry Four Oaks United Methodist Church Four Oaks United Methodist Church has developed a Special Needs Ministry for the community. Everyone, including families with special needs individuals, is welcome to attend a 30-minute service that uses children’s music and an open format that allows the children to make noise and move around as needed. Parents can relax in casual attire, and no offering will be collected. For more information, contact Pastor Linda Leuser at 919-9380000 or email to lindaleuser@gmail.com. Wednesday, October 9, 11:30 a.m. Outback Steakhouse Luncheon Outback Steakhouse, Smithfield Join a lunch fundraiser at Outback Steakhouse in Smithfield to benefit Partnership for Children. Choose from two one-hour lunchtime seatings: 11:30 a.m. or 1 p.m. Tickets are $15 and must be bought in advance. Lunch includes steak, salad, garlic mashed

potatoes, cheesecake and a beverage. Call 919-975-2523 or visit www. partnershipforchildrenjoco.org for more information.

Tuesday, October 15, 11 a.m. Comorbidities of Hearing Loss Sleep Inn, Smithfield Diabetes, cardiovascular issues, dementia, etc. are linked with hearing loss. Dr. Kathleen Coates will discuss these links, as well as preventative measures for over the years. For more information, call Coates Hearing Clinic at 919-300-5438. Friday, October 18, 8:30 a.m. Harmony Playground 5th Annual Golf Tournament The Neuse Golf Club, Clayton Don’t miss the Harmony Playground 5th Annual Golf Tournament. Because every child deserves a chance to play. Buy tickets & sponsorships at www. harmonyplayground.org or email info@ harmonyplayground.org. Tuesday, October 22, 5 p.m. Ladies Night Out Johnston Health, Clayton. Participate in free screenings, meet health care providers and schedule your annual mammogram. There will also be refreshments and shopping with jewelry, clothing and home décor vendors. Saturday, October 26, 10 a.m. Second Annual Opioid Event/ Medicine Drop Temple Church, N. Pollock St., Selma The Johnston County Opioid Task Force is hosting a medicine drop and opioid resource fair on Oct. 26. Bring unwanted medicine and check out safety information and local resource to combat the opioid crisis. For more information, call 919-989-5200.

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