News Briefs: Jan. 19

January 20, 2014 

Teens arrested

Three Clayton teenagers have been charged with dragging a man with their car after stealing his cash in an attempted drug deal.

Christian Wayne Lewis, 17, of 17 Locket Drive, is charged with assault with a deadly weapon (a car), common-law robbery, conspiracy to sell and deliver marijuana and possessing drug paraphernalia. His bond was set at $63,000.

Jacob W. Faison, 17, of 212 Mitchell Ave., is charged with assault with a deadl weapon, common-law robbery and conspiracy to sell and deliver marijuana. His bond was set at $24,000.

William Anthony Pope, 16, of 865 Carlton St., is charged with assault with deadly weapon, common-law robbery, conspiracy to sell and deliver marijuana, resisting an officer and possession of a controlled substance on jail premises. His bond was set at $85,000.

On Jan. 11, according to a news release from the town, Lewis made an arrangement to sell marijuana for $300 to a man in his neighborhood, 50-year-old John Paul Anderson.

Lewis and two of his friends pulled up to Anderson’s home in the Village at Glenhaven around 11:30 p.m., according to the news release. Investigators say the teens demanded to see the money, and when Anderson held out his hand with the cash, Lewis grabbed his wrist. The teens then tried to speed away in the car, dragging Anderson about 50 feet, according to the news release. He suffered cuts and scratches.

Hospital makes flu plea

After seeing an uptick in the flu in recent weeks, Johnston Health is asking patients and visitors to take precautions.

“We’re asking people to use the tissues and masks, as needed, at the cough etiquette stations when they visit our hospital and outlying clinics,” said Ronnie Syverson, infection-prevention specialist for Johnston Health. “Also, we’re asking people who have flu-like symptoms, such as fever, coughs, sneezing and runny noses, to refrain from visiting patients in the hospital.”

“To prevent the spread of flu and other viruses, it’s a good idea to stay at home if you have these symptoms,” he added.

Syverson said the hospital’s lab has confirmed more than 30 cases of the flu in the past three weeks.

Brinson to run for commissioner

Chad Stewart, who replaced his late father on the Johnston County Board of Commissioners, will face at least one primary challenger in his bid for reelection.

Keith Brinson of Princeton, an insurance agent, announced this past week that he will seek the District 3 seat held by Stewart.

“As a county commissioner, my top priorities will be promoting economic growth, ensuring that we have adequate infrastructure, ensuring that our citizens’ tax dollars are spent wisely and fighting to keep property taxes as low as possible,” Brinson said. “Johnston County has a top-notch economic-development team, and I look forward to working with them to promote our county and attract jobs for our citizens.”

“I will bring a fresh perspective to the board,” Brinson added. “I am an independent thinker, and I am not afraid to ask tough questions that no one else wants to ask. When elected, I will not be beholden to anyone but the taxpayers of Johnston County. While our current board has done a lot of good things, we can always find ways to improve, and that requires someone who is not afraid to challenge the status quo.”

DOT seeks input

The N.C. Department of Transportation wants to hear North Carolinians’ transportation priorities as it moves to implement the state’s new Strategic Transportation Investments law.

Signed into law by Gov. McCrory last summer, House Bill 817 allows the DOT to make more efficient use of existing revenue to improve the state’s transportation infrastructure, create jobs and help boost the economy.

The law establishes the Strategic Mobility Formula, a data-driven approach to funding transportation improvements while still addressing local needs.

In the coming weeks, the DOT’s 14 transportation divisions will submit their top transportation priorities to compete for funding with other transportation improvements across the state. Residents can take part in the process by making their suggestions during a comment period that runs through Wednesday, Feb. 12.

Each transportation division will host a public open house to meet with local residents and obtain feedback on transportation priorities. In Division Four, which includes Johnston County, the open house will be from 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 6, at the Wilson Agricultural Center, 1806 SW Goldsboro St., Wilson.

In addition, written comments can be submitted via email to Jimmy Eatmon at jeatmon@ncdot.gov or by regular mail to NCDOT Division Four, Attention: STI, 509 Ward Blvd., Wilson, N.C. 27895. All comments must be received by 5 p.m. Feb. 12.

Bizzel appointed to task force

Gov. Pat McCrory has named Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell to the N.C. Statewide Impaired Driving Task Force. Bizzel has been Johnston County’s sheriff since 1988. He serves on the board of the N.C. Sheriff’s Association.

Meeting notices

The Clayton Town Council will meet at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22, in the council chambers at The Clayton Center, 111 E. Second St. The council will hear an update on the former Red & White grocery store building.

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