News Briefs

November 1, 2013 

State replacing Mill Creek bridge

Crews are continuing to make progress on a series of 12 bridge replacements throughout Johnston County. Work began this week on the fifth replacement project.

On Monday, Oct. 28, the N.C. Department of Transportation closed a section of Eldridge Road in Johnston County so S.T. Wooten Corp. of Wilson can replace the bridge over Mill Creek northwest of Newton Grove. The bridge is scheduled to reopen April 5, 2014, weather permitting.

The bridge, built in 1971, is classified as structurally deficient. This means the bridge is safe, but it needs to be replaced to meet current and future traffic demands.

Eldridge Road will be closed to through traffic between N.C. 50 and Barefoot Road with a signed detour in place.

Through traffic will use Barefoot Road, Godwin Lake Road and N.C. 50 to travel around the construction site. Local traffic will be able to use Eldridge Road but will not be able to cross the bridge.

This replacement is part of a $10.4 million contract awarded to S.T. Wooten Corp. to replace 12 bridges in Johnston County with new bridges by late 2015.

As part of this contract, bridges on N.C. 96, Juniper Church Road and Old Stage Road are currently under construction, and the bridge on Benson-Hardee Road has been replaced and is now open to traffic.

Driver charged after crash

A man has been charged with driving while impaired after a three-vehicle accident Oct. 26 in the Cleveland community.

Jason Turlington, 28, of Clayton also faces charges of reckless driving and failure to wear a seatbelt.

According to State Trooper Christopher Bell, Turlington was driving east on N.C. 42 when he failed to stop for a stoplight at Interstate 40. His car struck two vehicles – one coming off the westbound I-40 exit ramp and another stopped at the traffic light. The second car was westbound on N.C. 42.

The accident happened around 10 p.m.

Turlington and the I-40 driver were taken to WakeMed in Raleigh. The Highway Patrol did not release the I-40 driver’s name because of her age, 17. She suffered minor injuires. The third driver, Patricia McGee, 26, of Four Oaks was not injured.

Turlington suffered serious injuries, including several broken bones and a cracked sternum.

Grant hearing is Dec. 12

Johnston-Lee-Harnett Community Action Inc. plans to apply for $592,668 to provide services to low-income people in Johnston, Lee and Harnett counties. A hearing on the grant application is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 12, in the Community Action conference room, 1102 Massey St., Smithfield. For more information, call 934-2145, ext. 141.

Wilson’s Mills officer earns promotion

The Wilson’s Mills Police Department has promoted George Strong to lieutenant.

Strong began his law enforcement career in 2000, and since 2010, he has been a part-time officer in Wilson’s Mills. Strong previously worked full time for the Kenly Police Department. He earned an associate’s degree in business from Broome Community College in Binghamton, N.Y., and holds an immediate certificate from the N.C. Department of Justice.

“George possesses the personal traits that will bring sustainability and add to the professionalism of the agency,” Wilson’s Mills Chief David Hess.

Four candidates for lieutenant took part in a rigorous assessment, the chief said. “The assessment was designed to test the candidate’s knowledge of laws and their natural leadership ability,” he said. Two police chiefs, a police sergeant and a sheriff’s patrol deputy made up the assessment board.

“I applied for the position because I knew the town and the people who live there,” Strong said. “I knew I could help achieve the agency’s goals of community policing, help develop the officers and improve the organization.”

By promoting Strong to full-time police lieutenant, the agency can begin providing 24-hour police services, something that Wilson’s Mills hasn’t done since March.

Strong has lived in Johnston County for 17 years. He is married and has two children.

Meeting notices

The Clayton Town Council will meet at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 4, in the council chambers at The Clayton Center, 111 E. Second St.

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