Johnston County

News Briefs: Nov. 22

Frank Wood will seek District Court judgeship

Frank Wood, an attorney in Johnston County, says he will seek the District Court judgeship held by Dale Stubbs, who has said he will not seek reelection.

“After discussions with my family, friends and colleagues, I am excited to announce that I am a candidate for this 11th Judicial District seat covering Johnston, Harnett and Lee counties,” Wood said. “Judge Stubbs has had a distinguished career as a private practitioner, prosecutor and judge and I am honored to have the opportunity to pursue his seat.”

A lifelong Johnston County resident, Wood was a teacher’s assistant working with special-needs children when he decided to go to law school. He has been in private practice in Johnston County for more than 18 years.

Wood comes from a family of public servants. His grandfather, Aaron D. Wood, was a Johnston County sheriff, and his father, Dr. Jerry F. Wood, was a county commissioner.

“I believe it is now my time to step up and serve the people of this community and the 11th Judicial District,” Wood said. “In addition to applying the facts of each case to the applicable law and the legal standards of proof, I also believe a judge should represent the values of his community in applying those standards, and I feel I am a good representative of those values.”

Wood serves on the boards of the Boys and Girls Club of Johnston County, the Salvation Army and the Johnston County Education Foundation.

Education forum Nov. 30 in Smithfield

The Smithfield-Selma Chamber of Commerce invites the public to “Community Conversations: Education, an interactive discussion about the community’s role in supporting quality education. The event is scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 30, in the auditorium of the Johnston Health Medical Mall, 514 N. Bright Leaf Blvd., Smithfield.

Admission is free, but registration is required through the chamber’s website,, or by calling 919-934-9166. Light refreshments will be served.

State to replace bridge near Four Oaks

The N.C. Department of Transportation will close a section of Joyner Bridge Road south of Four Oaks on Monday, Nov. 23, for the replacement of the bridge over Mill Creek. The new bridge is expected to open to traffic by late April 2016, weather permitting.

The bridge, built in 1975, is classified as structurally deficient and functionally obsolete. This means the bridge is safe for use; however, it has required significant maintenance. It was also built to design standards no longer in use.

Because of its condition, the DOT posted a weight limit restricting single-axle vehicles weighing more than 21 tons and trucks weighing more than 26 tons from using the bridge. S.T. Wooten Corp. of Wilson will build the new bridge to modern design standards; it will not have a posted weight limit.

During the $1.16 million replacement project, through traffic will use Shaws Pond Road, Devil’s Racetrack Road and Strickland Crossroads Road to travel around the construction site. Local traffic will be able to access Joyner Bridge Road but will not be able to cross the replacement site.

Visitors Bureau chief receives industry award

Donna Bailey-Taylor, chief executive of the Johnston County Visitors Bureau, has received a 2015 Public Service Award from the N.C. Travel Industry Association.

The Public Service Award goes to individuals and, or organizations for outstanding career contributions for the betterment, welfare, progress, recognition, promotion and development of the travel industry in North Carolina.

The Johnston County Visitors Bureau also received awards from the Travel Industry Association. The Visitors Bureau won a Gold Destination Marketing Achievement Award in Advertising for its Girlfriends Getaway Print Advertising Campaign. Also, it won a Gold Destination Marketing Achievement Award in Online Communications for the bureau’s weekly blog.

The Girlfriends Getaway advertising promotes the packaging Carolina Premium Outlets with other nearby attractions to encourage female shoppers to turn a shopping trip into an experience. The Visitors Bureau uses its blog to announce tour0ism related news and events.

School board makes personnel moves

The Johnston County Board of Education made two personnel moves at its November meeting.

The board named Kristy Stephenson executive director for accountability and school improvement. It named Jeffrey Dufour assistant principal at Meadow Elementary School. Both will start their new duties Dec. 1.