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News Briefs: Committee forms in response to youth deaths

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Committee forms in response to youth deaths

SMITHFIELD — “I’m Committed,” a group that aims to provide programs and mentors for young people, will hold its first community meeting at 6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 27, at the Coach Reginald Ennis Pavilion, 1110 Massey St., Smithfield.

“I’m Committed” is a response to recent deaths of young people in Johnston County, Marlon Lee, a member of the committee, said in announcing the community meeting.

“Coming out of those tragedies, we heard that one of the problems in our community ... was a lack of programs, mentors and outreach” or that current such programs could benefit from more, Lee said. “ ‘I’m Committed’ is an effort to help address the need ... by casting a wide net at the problem using many people who are willing to offer their time, finances, ideas and spirit to go address the issue.”

“It might not fix everything,” Lee added, “but no one or group can. It might be perfect, but no longer can we allow imperfection to paralyze into inaction.”

Lee is a Smithfield councilman. Other members of the committee are Antoan Whidbee, an attorney and mentor; Judge Addie Harris Rawls; Antonio Blake, a local mentor who’s a graduate of Smithfield-Selma High School and East Carolina University; Travis Holder, a coach, mentor and Juvenile Court counselor; and Jerry Harper, a teacher at SSS.

Democratic candidates coming to Clayton

CLAYTON — A reception for Democratic candidates for state and local offices is scheduled from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26, at the Gateway Event Center, 501 Yates Drive, Clayton.

Among those scheduled to attend are U.S. Senate hopefuls Trevor Fuller and Erica Smith and commissioner of agriculture candidate Jenna Wadsworth, who grew up on a farm in Johnston County.

Light refreshments will be available.

Wellons receives NAACP award

SMITHFIELD — The Johnston County NAACP recently presented its Public Service Award to Smithfield attorney Allen Wellons.

The award recognized Wellons for his “untiring and exemplary service ensuring political, educational, economic and social justice” for the citizens of Johnston County.

“I am grateful for this award,” Wellons said. “It is a capstone to the work I have done over a 45-year career in law, agriculture and community service. It is not only the actions of great leaders that make big changes but all of us together making good decisions and choosing actions each day that make our lives and others better.”

“We must always recognize the plight of our fellow citizens and work together to ensure there is compassion, care and concern for the lives of every single citizen,” Wellons said.

Planning Board reviews eight more subdivisions

SMITHFIELD — The Johnston County Planning Board on Tuesday reviewed plans for eight new subdivisions in rural Johnston. They are:

• Aquilla Bluffs — 42 lots on 36.97 acres on Aquilla Road between Benson-Hardee Road and Old Fairground Road in Elevation Township.

• Bailey’s Crossing — 98 lots on 120 acres on Lynch Road north of its intersection with Jordan Narron Road in Wilders Township.

• Cattail Ridge — 44 lots on 39.3 acres on Antioch Church Road west of N.C. 96 in O’Neals Township.

• Freedom Ridge — 42 lots on 119.679 acres on Freedom Road just southeast of Long Grass Drive in Cleveland Township.

• Kenneth Bridges — three lots on 17.08 acres on Hardy Road a quarter-mile sough of Lake Wendell Road in Wilders Township.

• Olde Place — 65 lots on 73.16 acres on Antioch Church Road a quarter-mile east of Pine Tree Road in Cleveland Township.

• Tomlinson Tract — 85 lots on 104.36 acres on Cleveland Road east of Polenta Road toward Monroe Road in Cleveland Township.

• 231 Subdivision — 40 lots on 26.69 acres on N.C. 231 a half-mile east of Applewhite Road in Wilders Township.