Smithfield Herald


Attorney to seek clerk’s office

Johnston County attorney Michelle Drake Denning has announced her candidacy for Johnston County clerk of Superior Court. She will seek the Democratic nomination for the post.

Denning has been an attorney with the N.C. Industrial Commission since 2006. In that role, she has conducted administrative hearings and written about 600 legal opinions. Since 2005, Denning has been an adjunct faculty member at Johnston Community College, where she has taught commercial law, business law, legal research and writing, and GED courses.

Denning is a graduate of Meredith College, where she majored in speech communication and minored in political studies. After earning her law degree from Regent University, she was admitted to the N.C. State Bar in 2004.

“Johnston County has been blessed with strong leadership in our clerk’s office under (Will) Crocker since 1978,” Denning said. “He has been an advocate for the people of Johnston County and has built a reputation as a hard-working, diligent clerk, dedicated to the office and our judicial system. It would be my honor to follow in the footsteps of Mr. Crocker, bringing new, dynamic leadership and my experience in the law to innovate and update the clerk’s office.

“My goal is to really focus on excellent customer service – looking at how we can utilize technology to improve how we interact and serve the people of Johnston County.”

Denning lives in Smithfield with her husband, Bob, a Benson native, and their son, Will. They are members of Centenary United Methodist Church. Denning serves on the county’s Juvenile Crime Prevention Council and on the board of Neuse Charter School.

Olive to seek fourth term

Johnston County Registrar of Deeds Craig Olive has announced that he will seek reelection to a fourth four-year term.

“It has been my pleasure to have served the citizens of Johnston County as their registrar of deeds for the last 11 years,” Olive said. “I am grateful for the opportunity to fulfill my lifelong dream of public service, and I have an enormous desire to continue serving the fine citizens of Johnston County for the next four years.”

During his tenure, Olive has automated the deeds office to include instantaneous access to public records. The automation, he said, has allowed the deeds office to save money and return $2 million to county tax coffers.

“Throughout my terms in office, I have been a steward of your taxpayer money by improving productivity and efficiency through automation and providing outstanding customer service to our citizens,” Olive said. “All of this has effectively cut fees (hidden taxes) for the citizens of Johnston County.”

Olive, 48, makes his home near Clayton. He is the son of the late James C. and Pearl T. Olive. He is a deacon at Little Creek Primitive Baptist Church.

Johnston resident on state commission

Gov. Pat McCrory has named Johnston County resident J.D Solomon to the State Water Infrastructure Commission.

Solomon is a vice president of strategic consulting for CH2M Hill, a provider of consulting, design, construction and operations services to corporations and governments.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from N.C. State University and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of South Carolina.

The purpose of the Water Infrastructure Commission is to identify the state’s water infrastructure needs, develop a plan to meet those needs and monitor the implementation of the plan.

Rouzer “On the Radar”

N.C. Congressional candidate David Rouzer has been elevated to “On the Radar” in the “Young Guns” program of the National Republican Congressional Committee.

The program aims to provide candidates and their campaigns with the tools needed to run winning campaigns. Rouzer is a former member of the N.C. Senate, representing Johnston and Wayne Counties from 2009 to 2012.

Lottery introduces four games

The N.C. Education Lottery has introduced four new scratch-off games – Carolina Limited, Ultimate Crossword, Cold Hard Cash and Tic Tac Cash.

Ultimate Crossword, a $5 game, starts with five top prizes of $100,000. Cold Hard Cash is another $5 game that starts with five $100,000 top prizes.

Carolina Limited is a $2 game with more than $6.3 million in total prizes. Tic Tac Cash, a $1 game, begins with 15 top prizes of $4,000.

Meeting notices

The board of directors of Johnston-Lee-Harnett Community Action will meet at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 12, in the conference room at Community Action, 1102 Massey St., Smithfield.

The Juvenile Crime Prevention Council will meet at 4 p.m. Monday, Dec. 16, at the Johnston County Health Department on North Bright Leaf Boulevard in Smithfield.