News Briefs: June 22

June 20, 2014 

Schools make personnel moves

The Johnston County Board of Education approved a number of personnel moves at its June meeting. They are listed below by category.

Transfers – Michael R. Taylor, from principal of Smithfield-Selma High School to director of facilities management; Stephen Baker, from principal of Clayton Middle to principal of Smithfield-Selma High; Patty Stone Whittington, from principal of East Clayton Elementary School to director of elementary curriculum; Sheila Singleton, from principal of Benson Middle to principal of McGee’s Crossroads Middle; Elisha Y. Hope, from assistant principal of Smithfield-Selma High to assistant principal of South Campus Middle/High; and Michael S. Avery, assistant principal of Benson Middle to assistant principal of Four Oaks Elementary.

Principals (two-year contracts) – Ron Bryant Anthony, Benson Middle School; Jocell T. Flores, Clayton Middle School; Brian C. Johnson, Powhatan Elementary School; Brayton A. Leonhardt, East Clayton Elementary School; and Benjamin T. Williams, River Dell Elementary School.

Assistant principals (two-year contracts) – Dana Jernigan, South Johnston High School; Kenneth E. Sumler, Smithfield-Selma High School; and Cole Yarborough, Cleveland High School.

State closes bridge

The N.C. Department of Transportation has closed the bridge on Old Fairground Road over McCullens Branch south of McGee’s Crossroads. The closure is necessary for the first phase of a two-phase project to improve traffic flow around the intersection of Old Fairground Road and Massengill Pond Road.

For phase one, the bridge will be closed through Monday, Aug. 25. During this phase, crews will replace the bridge with a triple box culvert.

Once phase one is finished, crews will then close the intersection of Old Fairground Road and Massengill Pond Road to allow for work to begin there.

Currently, traffic on Massengill Pond Road has to stop at the intersection with Old Fairground Road, while traffic on Old Fairground Road has the right-of-way. Phase two will include realigning the intersection and reversing the stop condition, requiring traffic on Old Fairground Road to stop and giving traffic on Massengill Pond Road the right-of-way. This work will take approximately 14 days to complete.

Dollars available for recreation

From July 1 through Aug. 15, Johnston County government will accept applications for open space/recreation funds.

Priority will go to established groups, including town governments, public schools and rural athletic associations. The grants require a 5-percent match.

Applications are available in the county manager’s office, Room B-206, in the courthouse in Smithfield. Also, the application is available online under News & Events at

Fire department receives grant

The Kenly Volunteer Fire Department has received $91,563 from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The money will pay for operations and safety improvements.

“Ensuring that our fire departments have the resources and tools they need to do their job is a priority for me, and I am pleased these funds are coming home to help the Kenly Volunteer Fire Department,” said Congressman Mike McIntyre.

Johnson named to ECU board

Chris Johnson of Smithfield has been named to the East Carolina University Board of Visitors. He is a small-business owner and director of the Johnston County economic-development office.

Board members serve as ambassadors of the university in their home communities. They are chosen based on a personal track record of active support of the university and a demonstrated willingness to engage and influence others on behalf of the university.

“Attending and receiving a degree from East Carolina is one of my proudest accomplishments,” Johnson said. “I’m honored by this appointment to serve East Carolina University, my fellow alumni and the citizens of Eastern North Carolina.”

Meeting notices

The Johnston County Area Mental Health Board will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 24, at the Mental Health Center in Smithfield.

The Johnston County Board of Commissioners will meet at 8:15 a.m. Monday, June 30, at the courthouse in Smithfield. Commissioners are likely to adopt a budget for 2014-15.

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