01/01/10 — 2009 Year-In-Review

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2009 Year-In-Review

By Staff Reports
Published in News on January 1, 2010 11:37 AM


Jan. 4 -- Goldsboro officials said they have three projects worth $17.45 million that could be ready to go should the federal government decide to progress with a much-talked about economic stimulus package -- $12 million for the Community Recreation Center,

$2 million for Union Station and $3.45 million for utility repairs.

Jan. 5 -- Animal Control investigators removed 26 living animals from a Fremont home, where dismembered animals, a machete, knives, bowls of blood and what appeared to be a puppy's head were discovered. Lawton McKenzie, 28, was charged with cruelty to animals.

Jan. 6 -- Traffic patterns in Mount Olive came before the town board as part of a recommendation from the state Department of Transportation to create throughways on Main, James and Pollock Streets while placing stop signs for traffic on North and South Center streets. The change was finally made in July.

Jan. 6 -- Pikeville Town Board approved a 4 percent increase in electricity rates, effective in February.

Jan. 7 -- Wayne County's unemployment rate rose to 7.2 percent in November, officials said, overtaking the previous 17-year high of 6.9 percent. It was the highest rate since the early 1980s said Bill Page, manager of the local office of the Employment Security Commission.

Jan. 15 -- Three former Cherry Hospital employees charged with beating a patient and one charged with sexually abusing another, were indicted by a Wayne County grand jury -- James Allen Smith, 33, Eric Jerrod Isler, 31 and Billy Wynn, were originally arrested in Oct. 2006.

Jan. 15 -- Lawton McKenzie of Fremont, arrested earlier in the month on animal abuse charges, was ordered to pay the county $8,000 or forfeit his animals, while animal abuse charges was still pending.

Jan. 18 -- Wayne County Attorney Borden Parker Jr. charged with driving while under the influence and speeding 60 miles per hour in a 35 mph zone in the early morning hours.

Jan. 20 -- Winter storm dumped at least four inches of snow across the county, resulting in closures and hazardous driving conditions.

Jan. 25 -- William Jackson Neal, Jr., 53, to face same rape charges that kept Dwayne Dail erroneously imprisoned for 18 years.

Jan. 27 -- Former city councilman J. B Rhodes died at age 82.

Jan. 28 -- Newly-elected Rep. Efton Sager, R-Wayne, and Sen. Don Davis, D-Greene, took their seats as a freshman legislators.


Feb. 1 -- Commission board supportive of four-day workweek, implemented previous summer, and agreed with County Manager Lee Smith's decision to delay expansion to include tax and Register of Deeds offices because of concerns from Realtors and other professionals.

Feb. 4 -- Snow and sleet storm greeted residents, with an inch or more of snow reported.

Feb. 6 -- Nearly 300 dogs and puppies rescued during early morning raid of Thornton Kennels.

Feb. 7 -- Molly Deans of Durham named Miss Goldsboro 2009.

Feb. 11 -- The 283 dogs seized from Thornton Kennels' puppy mill sent around the country to adoptive homes.

Feb. 12 -- A family prayed for miracle after Taylor Gambrel, 12,

a Eastern Wayne Middle School

student, fell into a coma after being struck by a car while riding his bicycle near his home.

Feb. 14 -- Paramount Theater celebrated its first anniversary since the reconstruction following the 2005 fire that destroyed the building. A gala featuring area performers was held.

Feb. 18 -- Brogden Primary School was named one of 10 schools in the country to receive $100,000 prize as part of U.S. Cellular's Calling All Communities Campaign.

Feb. 20 -- Charles B. Aycock High School teacher Harold Lee Person, subject of recent investigation by Sheriff's Office and SBI, committed suicide.

Feb. 24 -- Barbara Ann Bandy, 42, was shot several times while sitting in her vehicle on North Leslie Street, and later died.

Feb. 26 -- Mount Olive Police investigated a complaint from Mount Olive Middle School student's family involving Jerry Dortch, keyboarding instructor who resigned from the school Feb. 19.


March 1-- The Wayne County Chapter of the American Red Cross kicked off its Heroes campaign to raise $95,000.

March 1 -- Downtown Goldsboro Development Corp. officials said that without sponsorships they would be forced to cancel some of the Center Street Jams. The sponsorships ended up coming through.

March 2 -- Feliciano Salinas Gonsalez, 34, Hooks River Road, was charged and jailed under a $1 million bond after seven pounds of meth was found at his home.

March 2 -- Anthony Dwayne Jackson was arrested in Florida in connection with the murder of Barbara Bandy in Goldsboro.

March 3 -- It was standing room only upset Rosewood

|residents appeared before county commissioners to oppose a low-rent housing

project for their community.

March 4 -- Close to a dozen architects got their first look at Union Station before deciding if they wanted to bid on the project.

March 5 -- Sen. Don Davis, D-Greene, introduced legislation aimed at stopping puppy mills. The bill was in response to a 300-dog puppy mill operation near Mount Olive that had been shut down earlier.

March 7 -- Longtime volunteer J.R. Nickens, 86, died.

He was a familiar face at the Goldsboro Family YMCA and recently received a litetime achievement award.

March 7 -- Col. Steve Kwast, former commander of the 4th Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson air Force Base, was named to command the 455th Expeditionary Wing in Bagram, Afghanistan.

March 9 -- Fremont's public library reopened after being closed for seven months for renovations.

March 10 -- County planning officials took no action, but did begin discussion about possible zoning along U.S. 70 between Rosewood and the Johnston County Line as well as the area of the new U.S. 70 Bypass interchange at Wayne Memorial Drive.

March 13 -- Four employees at O'Berry were placed on paid investigatory leave following the March 11 death of a female patient. Officials said patient abuse was not suspected.

State officials confirmed that investigators from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid were at O'Berry.

March 13 -- State Rep. Efton Sager, R-Wayne, and Sen. David Rouzer, R-Johnston, introduced a bill to undo the city's annexation of Buck Swamp and Falling Brook communities after receiving petitions signed by more than 300 people asking for the legislation.

March 16 -- Less than two dozen people attended a Wayne County Board of Education

public hearing on a proposed school reorganization plan. Six people spoke -- three in favor of the plan and three opposed.

March 17 -- O'Berry Neuro-Medical Center officials received a list of deficiencies that needed to be corrected

following the death of a female patient. State officials said

that O'Berry could lose $4.7 million a month in funding if the deficiencies were not

corrected within 30 days. They were.

March 18 -- Honda of Goldsboro and Hyundai of Goldsboro, both facing financial difficulties and legal issues, closed.

March 20 -- For the first time since early February Wayne County was no longer considered to be abnormally dry as measured by the U.S. Drought Monitor.

March 21 -- A funeral was held for Chester Hill, the city's first African-American chief of police. Hill had retired in 1999.

March 21 -- Unemployment in Wayne County reached a 20-year high of 9.2 percent.

March 23 -- Marcela Rodriguez, 24, of Goldsboro was murdered by her estranged boyfriend, Fransico Montenegro, 52, of Faison, who then committed suicide. The couple's children and Ms. Rodriguez's mother escaped unharmed. The shootings occurred near Turkey in Sampson County.

March 24 -- Roderick "Ricky" Davis Jr. was sentenced to two life terms for the

murder of two men in 2006.

March 26 -- It was announced that Seymour Johnson Air Force Base would receive $16 million in federal stimulus funding.

March 28 -- Despite rainy conditions, close to 800 people attended the annual Daffodil Festival in Fremont.

March 31 -- It was announced that Vice President Joe Biden would visit Pikeville and the Duplin County town of Faison on April 1 to stump for the federal stimulus program.

March 31 -- Philip Cook began work as the new director at Cherry Hospital.


April 1 -- Vice President Joe Biden was at Goshen Medical Center in Faison in the morning and the Pikeville Fire Station in the afternoon to talk about the federal stimulus program. Goshen Medical Center received $600,000 and the Pikeville Fire Department $100,000.

April 3 -- Three employees at the O'Berry Neuro-Medical Treatment Center were fired following the "unusual" death of a woman on March 14 at the facility.

April 8 -- Wayne County Public Schools canceled all summer courses, except for kindergarten through second grade, because of a lack of funding.

April 9 -- Dennis "Allen" Anderson, 26, died in an early morning house fire on Camp Trailee Road. The SBI was called in to help conduct an investigation.

April 9 -- Former kennel owner Virginia Thornton was to face 12 misdemeanor animal cruelty charges following a February raid of what officials called a puppy mill being operated by Mrs. Thornton.

April 9 -- The Wayne County Board of Education approved its 2009-10 reorganization plan that moved Southern Academy in Mount Olive and Belfast Academy to Goldsboro Intermediate School.

April 9 -- John Patrick Best, 8, was fatally injured after the car driven by his mother, Tara Best, wrecked on N.C. 403 in Duplin County.

April 9 -- Wayne County Public Schools received $5 million in state lottery funds. The school board approved construction bids for projects at Greenwood and Mount Olive middle schools and Brogden Primary School.

April 12 -- Wayne Community College officials said the college would operate on a four-day schedule during the summer to save money.

April 17 -- Dr. Phillip Kerstetter was named as the fourth president at Mount Olive College.

April 17 -- Corey Devon Bryant, 38, Lowry Drive, and Terry Lorenzo Moore, 17, were charged with murder and assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious bodily injury after killing one man and wounding another.

April 18 -- Charles Poe, 59, of Greenville and Linwood Whitely, 57, of Chocowinity were killed when their motorcycles were hit head on by a pickup truck on U.S. 13 N. Three other people were injured. The driver of the truck, Billy Joe Fowler, 32, of Goldsboro, was charged.

April 20 -- The city decided that Peacock Pool would be opened and would be operated by the Family YMCA after city officials earlier expressed concern over repair costs.

April 22 and 23 -- Hundreds of athletes and volunteers were at Eastern Wayne High School for the Special Olympics Track and Field competition.

April 24 -- The Wayne County Chapter of the American Red Cross raised $85,465 of its $95,000 goal for its Heroes campaign.

April 25 -- An estimated 30,000 people attended the 23rd annual North Carolina Pickle Festival in Mount Olive. It was the largest turnout in the festival's history.

April 25-26 -- More than 100,000 are estimated to have attended the two-day  Wings Over Wayne Air Show at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.

April 26 -- Firefighters from 25 fire departments battled a warehouse fire at Southern Produce in Faison. Firefighters remained on the scene for several days.

April 27 -- The state's chief medical examiner said that 43-year-old Kenneth Gore likely died of natural causes. Gore died in October 2008 at Cherry Hospital.

April 29 -- Seymour Johnson Air Force Base's 336th Rocketeers left for a tour of duty in Afghanistan.

April 30 -- Arson was ruled as the cause of the fire that heavily damaged a Southern Produce warehouse in Faison.


May 1 -- Swine flu hit North Carolina with at least two probable cases discovered. Students from Mount Olive College returned from Mexico with no signs of the virus.

May 1 -- Goldsboro Realtor Jay Kinsey received the Realtor of the Year award.

May 2 -- The Hispanic Community Development Center celebrated the first Viva Goldsboro festival.

May 3 -- Former Army Brigadier General and Goldsboro native Karl Eikenberry took oath to serve as U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan.

May 5 -- John T. Bell withdrew his request for a letter of support from the county commissioners for his proposed Rosewood community low-rent housing project.

May 6 -- Officials located the body of drowning victim Brian Matthew Davis, 21, of Goldsboro, in the Neuse River.

May 17 -- Wayne Community College graduated its largest class ever, with more than 500 curriculum students receiving their diplomas.

May 19 -- The Goldsboro City Council upped utility rates to a break-even level, but did not increase taxes.

May 21 -- The Wayne County Commissioners questioned whether it is advisable to allow commissioners to sit on the county planning board or other boards.

May 22 -- Duplin County dedicates a memorial to soldiers who fell in Vietnam.

May 26 -- Crews broke ground on building a new IHOP restaurant on Berkeley Boulevard in Goldsboro. The restaurant opened after Labor Day.

May 29 -- Thousands of people participated in the Wayne County Relay for Life to help earn money for cancer research.

May 29 -- Two Cherry Hospital workers were found guilty and sentenced to 60 days in prison on charges of beating a handicapped patient.


June 2 -- Goldsboro police seized more than $70,000 in heroin from a local home.

June 3 -- Goldsboro announced the selection of architect David Gall as the

person responsible for revamping the historic Union Station.

June 3 -- Seymour Johnson Air Force Base announced the first known case of H1N1 influenza among the airmen stationed at the base.

June 4 -- Details were released about a Duplin County day care that was shut down after sheriff's deputies discovered a moonshine still operating from a shed on the facility property.

June 4 -- 4th Fighter Wing Vice Commander Dan DeBree took his last flight in a F-15E Strike Eagle before retiring.

June 4 -- The Duplin County Board of Commissioners took action to restrict what the county Board of Education can do with local funding allocated to the school system.

June 6 -- Troy Pate Jr. received the Distinguished Public Service Award, the highest honor the Air Force can bestow on a civilian.

June 8 -- Wayne County Animal Control Director Justin Scally left the county to take a job with the Humane Society of the United States.

June 8 -- Bobby Nathan Owens sentenced to 19-23 years in prison after being found guilty of the rape of a 12-year-old girl.

June 11 -- Two employees were shot at the Hampton Inn on Spence Avenue following a failed robbery attempt. Police arrested two suspects in the crime on June 17.

June 11 -- John Oscar Mumford, 29, of Whitted Court turned himself in to police in connection to the February shooting death of Barbara Ann Brady.

June 12 -- High school students at local high schools turned their tassels at graduation.

June 16 -- GATEWAY announced it will receive $1.4 million in economic stimulus funding.

June 18 -- Jackson and Sons Heating and Air Conditioning awarded the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year award.

June 22 -- County District Attorney E.B. "Borden" Parker pleaded guilty to a charge of driving while impaired and was sentenced to a fine and community service. 

June 27 -- Donna Karen Capps, 49, of Henderson, and Agnes Byrd Carney, 71, of Beaufort died in a two-vehicle accident at the intersection of N.C. 222 and N.C. 581 west of Fremont. Michael Eugene Sowers of Beaufort was later charged with two counts of misdemeanor death by motor vehicle and one charge of failure to stop for a stop sign.

June 29 -- Terry Lavon Singleton, 31, of South Slocumb Street died from wounds allegedly inflicted by convenience store clerk Almojaded "Mike" Mohssen. Police took Mohssen into custody.


July 1 -- Former 4th Fighter Wing Commander Col. Steve Kwast talked to News-Argus reporter Kenneth Fine about his new role at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan.

July 1 -- A line of heavy thunderstorms downed trees and damages homes in the Rosewood and Belfast communities.

July 2 -- Members of the 4th Fighter Wing's 336th Fighter Squadron talked to News-Argus reporter Kenneth Fine about the mission unfolding in Afghanistan from their headquarters along the Bagram Airfield flight line.

July 3 -- After spending several months as Goldsboro's interim fire chief, Gary Whaley was officially offered the position on a

permanent basis. He accepted.

July 4 -- Four Wayne County residents were killed and another was injured after a truckload of fireworks explodes on Ocracoke Island. Terry Holland, Charles Kirkland Jr., Lisa Simmons and Mark Hill died in the blast.

July 6 -- Goldsboro-Wayne chapter of the NAACP voiced concerns about city police department to members of the City Council, calls for inquiry into March arrest.

July 6 -- William Godwin, 71, of Princeton, was hit by a semi before the truck plows into his home. Godwin died later.

July 10 -- Mount Olive police officers rescued two men trapped in a burning car on South Breazeale Avenue near Royal Circle.

July 13 -- Timothy Tramel Vaughn, 37, pled not guilty to the murder of James Anwar Brewington, 29. Vaughn was later found guilty of second-degree murder and sentenced to 15 to 20 years in prison.

July 13 -- Wayne County Board of Education outlawed cell phone, iPod use during school hours.

July 15 -- Shane Martin Berens, 24, of O'Berry Road, charged with one count of second-degree rape.

July 16 -- State Sen. Don Davis introduced legislation in response to deadly fireworks blast earlier in the month.

July 18 -- A Seymour Johnson Air Force Base F-15E Strike Eagle crashed after a combat mission over Afghanistan. Both the pilot, Capt. Mark McDowell, and weapons system officer, Capt. Thomas Gramith, died in the crash. An accident investigation board later determined that human error caused the incident.

July 18 -- Wayne County Sheriff's Office said Michael Womble, of Pikeville, fatally shot his brother, Brian.

July 21 -- 28 of 32 county schools met AYP standard.

July 23 -- Nearly a year after losing federal funding, inspectors certify Cherry Hospital for Medicare and Medicaid.

July 23 -- Christian Ray Godette, 18, was found guilty of common law robbery, second-degree kidnapping and escaping from a local jail. He was found not guilty of assault on a law enforcement officer.

July 28 -- A memorial service was held on Seymour Johnson Air Force Base to honor the two 4th Fighter Wing captains who died in Afghanistan July 18. Both officers were posthumously awarded the Bronze Star.


Aug. 3 -- Wayne County Inspections and Planning departments, as well as human resources completed their moves into their new office location at 134 N. John St.

Aug. 3 -- Several local residents urged members of the Goldsboro City Council to help fund a graduation coach for Goldsboro High School. The Wayne County Commissioners later received the same request, and together, the two boards funded the position, which is now filled.

Aug. 3 -- Pikeville Town Board of Commissioners agreed to buy  a temporary town hall.

Aug. 4 -- Wayne County Commissioners rejected Steve Keen's rezoning plan. Keen later took the request to the Goldsboro City Council, which granted a noncontiguous annexation of the property.

Aug. 6 -- City holds a memorial for the two 4th Fighter Wing officers killed in Afghanistan.

Aug. 7 -- Sixteen Wayne County schools made high growth under the state's ABC model and 27 of them made at least expected growth.

Aug. 9 -- Radio personality Chester Thompson was in critical condition after a car accident and later died from the injuries he sustained in the crash.

Aug. 11 -- More than 1,000 local residents turned out for the annual Taste of Wayne event for the United Way of Wayne County.

Aug. 14 -- 916th Air Refueling Wing marked the end of a $23 million project begun by BRAC 2005. Local firm Daniels and Daniels Construction Co. completed the construction.

Aug. 14 -- Goldsboro named David Carter as its new Parks and Recreation director.

Aug. 18 -- Turkington USA announced it would be moving its plant -- and 120 jobs -- from Wayne County to Clayton.

Aug. 18 -- Progress Energy officials announced the company's plans to permanently shut down three coal-fired power plant units to make room for $900 million gas plant.

Aug. 24 -- Kitty Askins volunteers launched $4 million capital campaign for construction of an expanded hospice center.

Aug. 25 -- Wayne County public school students began the new school year.

Aug. 27 -- Dozens of members of the 916th Air Refueling Wing left Seymour Johnson Air Force Base for tours at war.

Aug. 27 -- North Drive Elementary School teacher Gregory Brown named Wayne County Teacher of the Year.

Aug. 29 -- Nearly 300 students turned their tassels at a Mount Olive College graduation ceremony held in Kornegay Arena.

Aug. 29 -- Retired Air Force Tech. Sgt. Howard Holt Thornton received medals earned during his stint in World War II decades after the fact at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.

Aug. 30 -- Hundreds of members of the 335th Chiefs began tours at war, leaving Seymour Johnson Air Force Base on planes bound for Afghanistan.


Sept. 1 -- Kevin Cox, a 19-year-old Kinston teen, was found dead from a single gunshot wound at 707 Candlewood Drive. Authorities determined the shooting was an accident caused by Cox handling a .38-caliber revolver.

Sept. 7-9 -- The "Rocketeers"  returned home by the hundreds to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, marking the end of a four-month tour at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan.

Sept. 8 -- Former Wayne County government finance officer Norman Ricks, who served in his post more than 20 years, died after a battle with cancer.

Sept. 9 -- Following a statewide trend that has affected many small municipalities, Pikeville announced that

golf carts will be allowed on city streets, subject to a

$5 registration fee each year and a Pikeville Police Department inspection.

Sept. 10-11 -- A former Goldsboro police officer, Walter Finley Jr., 40, of Edgerton Street, was jailed under a $1 million bond on charges that he allegedly sexually assaulted at least three acquaintances. Police said an investigation showed he allegedly committed the offenses while off duty, but was employed as a police officer during the time of the alleged assaults.

Sept. 13 -- Wayne County residents may no longer toss out wooden pallets, oil filters or plastic bottles at the county landfill, Solid Waste Department officials announced.

Sept. 13 -- The Wayne County branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People protested how the arrest of Tavares Allen, 17, was handled by two Goldsboro police officers.

Sept. 14-15 -- The bodies of a 16-year-old girl and a man in his 20s were discovered in Carver Cemetery in Mount Olive. They are later identified as Martavia Shevon Royster, and Tigko DeJante King, 29, both of Mount Olive. Police also announced they were looking into a reported sexual assault at the same cemetery.

Sept. 23 -- Jamie Worthington, 19, of Myers Avenue, was found suffering from several gunshot wound outside a West Seymour Drive home. He was taken to Wayne Memorial Hospital, where he later died.

Sept. 27 -- A 17-year-old man, Kener Barahona, a farm laborer, was found dead by a roommate in his Duplin County trailer.


Oct. 1 -- Seymour Johnson Air Force Base received the go-ahead for a new $10 million facility to house the 4th Fighter Wing's Mission Support Group.

Oct. 1 -- Radio personality Jerry Wayne, 38, who helped raise money for Relay for Life and the Children's Miracle Network, among other causes, died after a fight with cancer.

Oct. 2 -- Two people, Luis Angel Ramos Jr. and Antonio Applewhite, 22, were killed in two separate traffic wrecks over the preceding week, the Highway Patrol announced.

Oct. 4 -- County Commission Chairman Bud Gray announced the first meeting of a committee charged with reviewing the ordinance that created the county Planning Board in the mid-1960s.

Oct. 7 -- Caroline Brown, a third-grade math teacher at Tommy's Road Elementary School, was named the Wayne County Public Schools' 2009-10 elementary mathematics teacher of the year.

Oct. 8 -- Wayne County Public Schools employee Danny Langley was placed on administrative leave with pay.

Oct. 11 -- Anthony Jerome Lee was found guilty of a string of armed robberies, mostly within the city limits of Goldsboro. Lee, 41, was sentenced to a maximum of 75 years in prison after representing himself and facing a possible 700 total years in prison.

Oct. 12 -- Authorities announced a number of charges to be filed in a May wreck at the intersection of U.S. 117 and Old Mount Olive Highway. Sheilena K. Brown, 24, of North Center Street was charged with death by motor vehicle. Anita Gail Grantham, sitting in the passenger seat of a Lexus being driven by Ms. Brown, died in the accident. A child, Shakayala James, was ejected from the vehicle, and was taken to Pitt Memorial Hospital along with Ms. Brown.

Oct. 14 -- Seven women and one man were arrested in a prostitution sting conducted by Goldsboro police.

Oct. 15 -- A burial service for one of two 4th Fighter Wing officers, Capt. Mark McDowell, who died in Afghanistan on July 18, was held at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

Oct. 15 -- Groundbreaking took place for the long-awaited Kitty Askins Hospice Center on Wayne Memorial Drive.

Oct. 19 -- The Mount Olive Family Medicine Center announced a $76,000 grant it received through the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Oct. 20 -- The Goldsboro City Council appropriated more than $237,000 for the construction of an additional two-bay building at Fire Station No. 4, with the contract awarded to local firm G&G Builders.

Oct. 20 -- Ronald Everette Smith, 20, of Hines Drive, was being sought on a warrant after Goldsboro authorities determined the death of a 6-month-old girl under Smith's care had been a homicide. Smith was arrested the same day the warrant is issued.

Oct. 23 -- Goldsboro police learned that James Sanders, 36, formerly of Brewington Drive, Dudley, had been apprehended in Bennettsville, S.C., after being wanted for more than a year in the murder of Eric Lamont Best.

Oct. 25 -- Michael Ricks, 27, of Slick Rock Road, was arrested for driving a front-end loader into a mobile home after an argument with his two female roommates.

Oct. 27 -- Goldsboro police announced that Doniesha Elouise Core, 21, of Randall Lane, would be charged with negligent child abuse in the death of her daughter, Diamond Nicole Smith. Previously, Ronald Everette Smith, 20, of Hines Drive, had been charged with an open count of murder in the death of the 6-month-old girl.

Oct. 30 -- Habitat for Humanity Goldsboro-Wayne hired a new director, Tieshia Moore, a former missionary.


Nov. 3 -- Incumbent Ray McDonald Sr. was elected to serve another two-year term as Mayor of Mount Olive. Also re-elected were incumbents Commissioner At-Large Ray Thompson, District 1 Commissioner Kenny Talton, District 2 Commissioner Hosea Manley and District 4 Commissioner Gene Lee. Elected for the first time was District 3 Commissioner George Fulghum.

Nov. 3 -- Challenger Johnny Weaver defeated incumbent Mayor Herb Sieger and was elected to serve a four-year term as Mayor of Pikeville. Incumbent Commissioner Lyman Galloway was re-elected and newcomer Ward Kellum also was elected. Edith McClenny did not win her re-election bid.

Nov. 3 -- For the fourth time in nine years, Pikeville residents voted to not allow alcohol sales in town.

Nov. 3 -- Eureka voters elected commissioner Doug Booth as new mayor. Commissioner Billy Martin was re-elected as commissioner and Leroy Wellington was elected commissioner. In Walnut Creek, incumbent Darrell Horne and newcomer Russell Prys were elected. In Seven Springs incumbent Stephen Potter was re-elected as mayor while Lisa Cash and Karen Mozingo were elected to the two open commissioner seats. Several county sanitary districts also held elections.

Nov. 9 -- Goldsboro High School's second principal, John Twitty, joined principal Patricia Burden at the school.

Nov. 10 -- Duplin County Schools Superintendent

Dr. Wiley Doby resigned amid a flurry of protests from parents and citizens.

Nov. 11 -- Rosewood Middle School ended a controversial fundraiser promising 20 extra credit points for students who donate $20 after the program made national newscasts and late-night television.

Nov. 12 -- Ralph McKinley Garris, 82, was struck and killed on U.S. 70. after his vehicle got stuck in a median in front of Wilber's Barbecue.

Nov. 12 -- Rosewood Middle School Principal Susie Shepherd resigned amid a swirl of controversy surrounding a fundraiser promising 20 extra credit points to students who donate $20.

Nov. 13 -- Dakota Medlin, 10, a Grantham School

student, died after he was struck by an SUV when he ran into the road on Stevens Mill Road.

Nov. 15 -- Wayne County Public Schools name Mary Kay James the new principal at Rosewood Middle School.

Nov. 18 -- A Wayne County turkey from the farm of Bryant and Debbie Worley was plucked from obscurity to receive the traditional Thanksgiving presidential pardon from President Barack Obama.

Nov. 19 -- Pupetta Bar & Grill, located in downtown Goldsboro, closed.

Nov. 20 -- The North Carolina Court of Appeals upheld a 2008 jury finding that ordered the Duplin County Board of Commissioners to pay the Duplin County Board of Education more than $4.7 million in local funding.

Nov. 22 -- The North Carolina Medical Examiner's Office said a Cherry Hospital patient who died in July after being discharged was killed by an overdose of an opiate drug administered before he left the hospital.

Nov. 24 -- Wayne County received a grant from the Governor's Highway Safety Program that would pay for a new DWI court.

Nov. 24 -- Wayne Community College board of trustees announced Ray Burrell would fill one of two vice president vacancies at the school.

Nov. 25 -- A Dudley man, David Arron Roberts, was charged with a first-degree sex offense with a 5-year-old girl.


Dec. 1 -- The NAACP announced the organization will file a lawsuit against Wayne County Public Schools for allegedly operating a school district that defies the U.S. Supreme Court's mandate of desegregation.

Dec. 1 -- Air Force officials released a detailed report from an Accident Investigation Board citing human error as the cause for the Seymour Johnson Air Force Base

F-15E Strike Eagle crash in Afghanistan July 18.

Dec. 1 -- Longtime county commissioner and school board member Atlas Price, 79, died. Recipient of the

prestigious Long Leaf Pine Award, Price retired from

public service in 2008. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer earlier in the year.

Dec. 1 -- A group of county residents accused Commissioner Jack Best and Goldsboro Mayor Pro Tem Chuck Allen of failing to disclose conflicts of interest and of using their influence to steer public transportation projects to their own gain.

Dec. 3 -- A body of a man was found beaten to death at Evergreen Cemetery on U.S. 70 West.

Dec. 3 -- David Arron Roberts, 30, was charged with a sex offense with a 3-year-old girl.

Dec. 3 -- Grantham School Principal Lisa Tart was named Wachovia Principal of the Year for 2009-10 and  Assistant Principal Youlonda Wynn was named Assistant Principal of the Year for Wayne County Public Schools.

Dec. 7 -- Deborah Exum was appointed the new director at O'Berry Neuro-Medical Treatment Center.

Dec. 11 -- Gov. Bev Perdue visited Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.

Dec. 12 -- The State Division of Health Service Regulation announced that Wayne Memorial Hospital is looking to expand it's emergency department.

Dec. 13 -- Two teens, Lisa Myers, 17, and Tyler Brewer, 15, died after a head-on collision with a pickup truck.

Dec. 14 -- Husband and wife Suryakant Patel, 65, and Bhavanaben Patel, 61, were found murdered at America's Best Value Inn.

Dec. 15 -- The Duplin County Board of Education voted to consolidate the North Duplin and James Kenan school districts, also including a section of the B.F. Grady school district.

Dec. 15 -- Alford Jones of Goldsboro, one of several inmates caught up in the controversy of what defines a life sentence, had his release blocked. Jones was convicted in the 1975 shooting of William B. Turner of Kinston.

Dec. 16 -- Longtime city business, Sportsman's World, announced the closing of it's East Ash Street location and the retail side of the business.

Dec. 18 -- Nathan Hales Faison of Goldsboro, who was originally charged with involuntary manslaughter, was indicted on a count of second-degree murder.

Dec. 17 -- Wayne County Public Schools employee Sprunt Hill was placed on paid leave.

Dec. 19 -- Wayne County Sheriff's Office identifies the body found in Evergreen Cemetery on Dec. 3 as 35-year-old Jamie Lee Hinson.

Dec. 21 -- Shonsi Chavez, 21, of Goldsboro was charged with kidnapping and sexual assault.

Dec. 21 -- Community Self-Help and  and Preservation North Carolina both pulled out Goldsboro -- Self-Help completely, PNC just closing its regional office.

Dec. 31 -- The Marine Corps League announced it will be open a local Wayne County chapter for the first time in January.