01/01/14 — 2013 in review: A month-by-month look at local news

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2013 in review: A month-by-month look at local news

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on January 1, 2014 1:46 PM

Jan. 1 -- More than 3,000 people welcome in the new year at the Mt. Olive Pickle Co.'s 14th annual Pickle Drop.

Jan. 1 -- State prison officials announce that Randy L. Pace, 48, who is serving a life sentence in the 1986 murder of James Smith Jr., is eligible for possible parole.

Jan. 2 -- It is announced that the Traveling Vietnam Wall will make a stop in Wayne County.

Jan. 4 -- The new $900 million H.F. Lee power plant is operational, replacing the old coal-fired units.

Jan. 4 -- James Wells, 65, is killed in a two-car crash at the intersection of U.S. 13 North and Saulston Road.

Jan. 5 -- The Wayne County Democratic Party nominates Mount Olive Town Board Ed Cromartie to complete the first two years of the four-year term of the late J.D. Evans.

Jan. 6 -- Ericka James is sworn in as the 8th Judicial District's first black female district court judge.

Jan. 6 -- Jimmy Ray Smith, 43, of Seven Springs is killed in a one-vehicle accident near Mount Olive.

Jan. 6 -- In one of her last actions in office, Gov. Bev. Perdue announces economic incentive packages for two industrial projects in Wayne County.

Jan. 8 -- Goldsboro City Councilman Chuck Allen asks that the council begin preparations to sell the old Arts Council of Wayne County building.

Jan. 9 -- Wayne County commissioners agree to appoint Ed Cromartie to the seat left vacant by the death of Commissioner J.D. Evans.

Jan. 10 -- State Sen. Louis Pate of Mount Olive is elected deputy president pro tem of the state Senate.

Jan. 10 -- Seymour Johnson Air Force Base is not on the first list of bases that will receive the new KC-46A tankers.

Jan. 11 -- After nearly six months, Wayne County commissioners vote to scrap a troubled payroll system to return to the old system.

Jan. 13 -- Ed Cromartie is sworn in as commissioner to fill the first two years of the four-year term of J.D. Evans, who died shortly after taking his oath of office.

Jan. 13 -- The attorney for the N.C. Press Association calls Wayne County commissioners' closed-door meeting to discuss the county payroll system "inappropriate."

Jan. 16. -- The state's new software for the Food Stamp program is being blamed for causing a backlog in handling nearly 500 applications.

Jan. 16 -- The Wayne County Board of Education votes to keep the remaining projects on its facilities plan and to ask county commissioners for additional funds for maintenance.

Jan. 16. -- Dr. David Tayloe is presented the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce's Cornerstone Award in recognition of his contributions to the community.

Jan. 18 -- Gerald Dean Blizzard, 68, the former director of maintenance at Goldsboro Assisted Living, is sentenced to six months of unsupervised probation for sexually assaulting an 89-year-old Alzheimer's patient.

Jan. 18 -- Wayne County commissioners talk about education, school funding, and the need for joint meetings with the Board of Education.

Jan. 18 --Regina Ann Rugkit, 30, pleads guilty to the attempted manufacture of methamphetamines and is sentenced to 60 to 81 months in prison. She is one of four suspects charged in a meth lab explosion that damaged the former Goldwater Motel at Dudley.

Jan. 20 -- The Wayne Regional Agricultural Fair receives its 15th Image Award from the N.C. Association of Agricultural Fairs.

Jan. 20 -- Members of the Wayne County Commissioners' Facilities Committee say they want an inventory of all county buildings, who is in them and if they are paying for using them.

Jan. 22 -- A grand jury returns a true bill of first-degree murder against Anthony Jacob Lewis, 26, in the death of Vanico Dicole Perkins, 37.

Jan. 23 -- Wayne County commissioners amend the county ordinance to allow mobile homes that are 15 years and older into the county.

Jan. 24 -- Bonnie Grady says she is stepping down as president of the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce.

Jan. 24 -- WATCH will use funding from the Golden LEAF Foundation to open a third clinic in the county.

Jan. 24 -- A man's body is found near homes on Seymour Drive.

Jan. 25 -- Walnut Creek residents protest a proposed sewer expansion project as being too costly.

Jan. 27 -- Beth Stovall is crowned Miss Goldsboro and Emma Cater is selected as Outstanding Teen.

Jan. 29 -- Mount Olive College officials announce a $20 million capital campaign to improve dorms, create a presence in the downtown area and to expand the college's athletic program.

Jan. 30. -- The Wayne County Facilities Committee continues to look at possible uses for the Wayne Correctional Center as the county jail once the center closes in October.

Feb. 3 -- A year after facing possible closure, the Mental Health Association of Wayne County holds its annual meeting and elects officers.

Feb. 4 -- Preparations for the annual Wings Over Wayne Air Show continue despite concerns over possible federal budget cuts.

Feb. 4 -- Donald Scott Taylor, 49, of Pikeville is jailed under a $4.1 million secured bond on sexual assault charges on a minor.

Feb. 5 -- The Goldsboro City Council decides to move forward with design and engineering for the second phase of Streetscape.

Feb. 6 -- Wayne County commissioners will ask state lawmakers for the authority to alter water district lines.

Feb. 6 --The autopsy report is released in the death of Kennedy McLaurin, 16, who was kidnapped and murdered in 2012. He had been beaten, burned and shot twice in the chest.

Feb. 8 -- Onza Lee Brown and Andre Devon Weeks are sentenced in Wayne County Superior Court after pleading guilty in two separate murder cases.

Feb. 10 -- The Paramount Theatre celebrates its fifth anniversary.

Feb. 10 -- Carsheme Jamil Ruffin, 24, is jailed under a $1.5 million bond after being charged with trafficking in heroin.

Feb. 10 --The Wayne County Department of Social Services continues efforts to reduce a backlog in food stamp applications caused by a new software system, but it is expected to be spring before the backlog is cleared.

Feb. 10 -- Mount Olive Chamber of Commerce President Tyler Barwick Graham receives the Distinguished Service Award for community service.

Feb. 13 -- Wayne County commissioners approve a draft proposal to reclaim most of the board's power to adopt subdivision plats.

Feb. 14 -- The Goldsboro City Council once again delays approval of the Parks and Recreation master plan as well as selecting a firm to design a new W.A. Foster Center.

Feb. 14 -- Kevin Raiford, 29, is charged with two counts of murder in connection with a Dec. 2, 2012 double shooting in Dudley.

Feb. 14 -- Wayne County Commissioner Joe Daughtery questions who determines a person's ability to pay for Health Department services.

Feb. 15 -- The 2013 Wings Over Wayne Air Show is

canceled because of budget concerns.

Feb. 18 -- A Dudley woman escapes her burning home by climbing through a bedroom window.

Feb. 19 -- John N. "Johnny" Walker, 87, Mt. Olive Pickle Co. president emeritus, dies just a month after the death of his wife, Margaret.

Feb. 19 -- Businessman John Strickland tells the Goldsboro City Council he is working to bring a Coastal League baseball team to the city.

Feb. 20 -- A financially troubled Wayne Opportunity Center asks Wayne County commissioners to forgive a $26,000 debt.

Feb. 24 -- A Goldsboro police officer who had fired his weapon in the line of duty the previous week has been cleared by an internal investigation and is back at work.

Feb. 24 -- Costs continue to mount as overcrowding at the Wayne County jail forces the county to house inmates in other county jails.

Feb. 25 -- There are no fatalities, but two people are injured, after a car is struck by a train in Mount Olive.

Feb. 26 -- Demetrius Tysad Lewis, 24, is shot in the shoulder while he sat in his car outside Bob's Supermarket.

Feb. 27 -- Shaquan Davis, 27, is arrested by Goldsboro police and charged in the shooting of Demetrius Tysad Lewis, 24, while he sat in his car outside Bob's Supermarket.

Feb. 28 -- Several Wayne County commissioners question the management of and financial conditions at the Wayne Opportunity Center with an eye toward creating an oversight committee.

Feb. 28 -- Nearly 140 people attend a public hearing at Walnut Creek voicing support and opposition to a proposed sewer project.

March 4 -- The Goldsboro City Council's decision to allow a bingo parlor in the former Teaser's location spells the end for the nightclub in that location forever following a Sept. 30 murder of an 18-year-old in the club.

March 6 -- Carmen Sanchez, 51, dies in an early morning accident in which her daughter suffered a brain injury. Neither woman was wearing a seat belt.

March 7 -- Natasha Monet Bonaparte and Virgil Devon Cox are sentenced in Wayne County Superior Court for their roles in the March 2011 shooting death of 46-year-old Edward Lee Brewington.

March 10 -- Jamal Wright, 27, is killed just outside of Faison when the vehicle he was driving went off the road, struck a ditch and overturned.

March 12 -- A Seymour Johnson Air Force Base airman is taken into custody in connection with the death of his 15-month-old son. Senior Airman Matthew Theurer would later be charged with the child's murder.

March 12 -- An accident results in the death of Belva Jackson, 58, of Hare Road.

March 13 -- Alonza Barnes takes a deal in the stabbing murder of his brother, Charles Barnes, bringing an abrupt end to the trial. Barnes went to jail for a minimum of nine years.

March 16 -- Gerald George Lee, 19, is arrested and charged with 25-year-old Justin Travis Lancaster's murder.

March 18 -- Goldsboro native and National Public Radio broadcasting legend Carl Kasell is named North Carolinian of the Year by the North Carolina Press Association.

March 19 -- Seymour Johnson Air Force Base officials identify Senior Airman Colin Marshall, 24, as the member of the 916th Air Refueling Wing who was found dead after a shooting in a Pikeville park.

March 28 -- Shyquan Omar Lattner, 22, of 105 Ridgefield Drive, is charged with conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon in connection with the October 2012 murder of 25-year-old Justin Travis Lancaster, of Dudley.

March 31 -- The Walnut Creek Village Council votes unanimously to end its push for a village-wide sewer system staying with system/septic tank mix.

April 6 -- Norwayne Middle School eighth-grader, David Williamson, wins second place at the state science fair after taking gold medals in Wayne County and the regional fair.

April 7 -- 18-year-old Deandre Marquese Spruill is charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury for allegedly stabbing is mother's husband, Delinwood Brewington, 39, following an argument between Brewington and Spruill's mother.

April 11 -- The Wayne County Commission Facilities Committee unanimously votes to proceed with bidding out a new Steele Memorial Library in Mount Olive.

April 12 -- The 4th Fighter Wing confirms that the 336th Fighter Squadron has been ordered to stand down in accordance with Air Combat Command's Tiered Readiness Plan.

April 14 -- Wayne County officials begin looking at Wayne Correctional Center west of Goldsboro near Cherry Hospital as a cost-saving answer to the county's need for a new $51 million jail.

April 15 -- The Goldsboro City Council votes to demolish the former Arts Council of Wayne County building planned for use as an Air Force museum.

April 16 -- The Wall That Heals, the half-sized replica of the Vietnam War Memorial arrives in Goldsboro.

April 17 -- Dr. Michael Shane Hoover, 35, pleads guilty to drunk driving and simple assault for a January hit-and-run and an assault in connection with an emergency at Wayne Memorial Hospital he responded to while under the influence of alcohol.

April 19 -- Wayne County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Steven Taylor announces his retirement from the school system.

April 20 -- Deputies arrest 34-year-old Benjamin Adonis Thomas for the shooting murder of his brother Richard Sylvester Thomas, 28, outside a residence at 2572 New Hope Road.

April 23 -- The Wayne County Chamber of Commerce announces Kate Daniels will step into the role of executive director for the chamber.

April 25 -- Demarko Devon Briggs, 28, is sentenced to more than nine but less than 12 years in prison for the 2012 shooting murder of 37-year-old Brandon Marquett Phillips.

April 29 -- The Wayne County Sheriff's Office recovers the body of Otha Wayne Pollard Sr., 66, of Wilson in a pond near U.S. 117.

April 30 -- Sprunt Hill, a former Wayne County Public School assistant superintendent pleads guilty to unlawfully accepting gifts and/or favors from a contractor/suppler as a government employee.

May 1 -- Internet cafes are given notice to close as of midnight.

May 6 -- The Mental Health Association of Wayne County celebrates its 50th anniversary.

May 7 -- Pikeville gets a new town administrator, Blake Proctor, 65, who was town manager of Fairmont.

May 8 -- Mount Olive town public works employee, Thomas Muney, 22, is terminated and charged with embezzlement May 1 for using a town gas card to buy more than $2,000 in gas for his personal vehicle.

May 9 -- A struggle over the upkeep of a road in Dudley ends with Clifton Elps, 51, assaulting another man with a deadly weapon.

May 12 -- Thousands of Wayne County people take part in the American Cancer Society's annual Relay for Life.

May 14 -- Eric Matthews, owner of Matthews Funeral Home, is charged with embezzlement and obtaining property by false pretense and is also charged with not depositing money from pre-need sales into a trust fund or insurance policy, as required by law, within five days.

May 15 -- The master plan for the new W.A. Foster Recreation Center is put on display for public inspection. The new site will be Mina Weil Park.

May 16 -- Work advances on a U.S. 70 Goldsboro Bypass that's expected to open in the fall of 2015.

May 19 -- 48-year-old Terry Glenn Lee and his 5-year-old granddaughter, Kelsey Davidson, are killed when the tractor they are on is hit from behind by a pickup truck on Baker Chapel Road in Mount Olive.

May 22 -- The North Carolina Board of Funeral Services forces E.M. Matthews Funeral Home to close for alleged misuse of pre-need funeral planning funds. The North Carolina Department of Insurance Criminal Investigations Division finds sufficient evidence to charge him with embezzlement and obtaining property by false pretense.

May 26 -- Superintendent of Wayne County Public Schools Steve Taylor announces he won't retire July 1 as originally planned and assistant superintendent Dr. Craig McFadden also extends his notice on retirement.

May 27 -- The North Carolina Board of Funeral Service revokes the pre-needs license of Rhodes Funeral Home for bookkeeping violations from a three-month investigation.

June 7 -- Angelo Burden is arrested in the 2012 deaths of Donald Mewborn and Gary Buckom.

June 17 -- Morgan Rigsby, 18, performs CPR on 11-month-old Ivey Nagypal while babysitting and saves her life.

June 17 -- Seymour Johnson Air Force Base Maj. Erin and Jennifer Pickel, are accused of child abuse and neglect.

June 19 -- Larry and Betty Bishop die of injuries sustained in a car accident on North Berkeley Boulevard June 17.

June 21 -- Seymour Johnson Air Force Base Senior Airman Matthew Theurer is charged with the murder of his 15-month-old son, who was found on the side of the road in Columbus County.

June 23 -- Seymour Johnson Air Force Base Staff Sgt. Kimberly Pate is honored as North Carolina's servicewoman of the year. She carries on for her husband who was killed in the line of duty.

June 25 -- The county eyes budget slashes and library and county literacy program are among the targets as commissioners trim spending to offer a $27.50 tax cut.

June 26 -- Wayne County commissioners adopt a measure to shave 3.6 cents off the property tax rate.

June 27 -- Wayne County commissioners offer their own version for a new Grantham School and want school system to cut its central office staff and costs by $500,000 to pay for it.

July 2 -- The Wayne County commissioners agree to giving $886,000 in incentives to Dudley's Georgia-Pacific Chip and Saw Plant's future expansion.

July 2 -- A Mount Olive minister in charge of the Mount Olive Ministerial Association, Tim Strickland, is charged with 10 federal counts of second-degree exploitation of minors.

July 2 -- Wayne Memorial agrees to pay $1.25 million to settle allegations that they used more expensive inpatient procedures rather than outpatient spinal surgeries to get bigger payments from Medicare.

July 8 -- The lead prosecutor in the case against Senior Airman Matthew Theurer asks that charges against him be expanded to include premeditated murder after details of the case were released.

July 11 -- A Mount Olive woman, Geraldine Horton, 46, dies in a house fire.

July 14 -- Seymour Johnson Air Force Base's 336th Fighter Squadron, known as the Rocketeers, are allocated $208 million to return to operation readiness.

July 18 -- Wayne County commissioners decline to accept a study by Volunteer Fire Insurance Services whose recommendations include merging the county's smaller volunteer fire departments with larger ones.

July 22 -- Goldsboro City Council finalizes the design plans for two blocks of the streetscaping on Center Street.

July 23 -- As a result of a N.C. Highway Patrol investigation, Michelle Merritt, 49, is charged with a misdemeanor hit-and-run that resulted in the death of 21-month-old child in May.

July 23 -- Goldsboro and Mount Olive police departments net eight arrests for soliciting prostitution in the 300 block of Royall Avenue after conducting a sting operation.

July 28 -- Former Busco Beach owner Jack Bennett terminates his lease on the popular ATV park after receiving notification of several ongoing violations of the conditions of the agreement he held with the county. The current owner, Smart Investors, LLC asks for a new one.

July 30 -- The Harris Teeter on Wayne Memorial Drive, a 53,000 square-foot store, opens to a crowd of excited shoppers.

July 30 -- The Charles B. Aycock Birthplace receives the needed funding to avoid a potential shuttering of the site after the N.C. General Assembly passes a budget appropriating $192,000 back into the Division of State Historic Sites and Properties.

July 30 -- Wayne County Commissioners and Board of Education met during a five-hour joint session to discuss school facilities plans. No decisions are made except to meet again in October.

Aug. 4 -- Wayne County Public Schools face $4.8 million in reductions after receiving the state budget.

Aug. 5 -- The demolition of the former Arts Council of Wayne County building begins.

Aug. 5 -- The Goldsboro City Council passes an amendment to the city's animal control ordinance that makes it a finable offense to feed feral cats.

Aug. 6 -- The Wayne County commissioners choose Smith Engineering & Design of Goldsbor/Jackson Builders of Goldsboro as the design/build team in charge of constructing the Steele Memorial Library.

Aug. 9 -- The N.C. Department of Public Instruction releases statistics that shows a 2.5 percent drop in Wayne County Public Schools' four-year cohort graduation rate, from 80.1 percent to 77.6 percent.

Aug. 12 -- Goldsboro City Council approves an architect grant to oversee the design of the proposed GATEWAY Transfer Facility adjacent to the Goldsboro Union Station on Carolina Street.

Aug. 15 -- The former E.M. Matthews Funeral Home reopens under new management as Community Funeral Home and Cremation Service of Goldsboro after the business was closed for selling pre-needs service contracts without a license.

Aug. 18 -- The Wayne Regional Agricultural Fair drops demolition derbies from the normal lineup to expand derby options next year.

Aug. 19 -- Cooper Bussmann announces the closure of their plant at 210 Dixie Trail scheduled for summer of 2014.

Aug.20 -- The town of Fremont change their police chief and public works director positions from hourly to salaried positions.

Aug. 21 -- A drug sweep coordinated by the Goldsboro/Wayne County Drug Squad picks up 20 drug-related arrests.

Aug. 24 -- The United Way of Wayne County kicks off its annual capital campaign with a concert at the Paramount.

Aug. 26 -- Students attend the first day of school for much of Wayne County.

Aug. 30 -- Current and past residents of Little Washington hold their annual reunion. The celebration is in its 11th year.

Sept. 1 -- Southern Belle Restaurant, a Mount Olive landmark for breakfast and lunch crowds for more than 50 years, serves up its last meals to patrons.

Sept. 2 -- Goldsboro City Council announces it is conducting a study to ensure city employees are paid salaries commensurate with other cities in the region.

Sept. 3 -- After nearly a decade of searching for another location, the Disabled American Veterans, or DAV, move into a new home at 212 E. Mulberry St.

Sept. 4 -- Brandon McMahon, 16, a Charles B. Aycock High School student, appears in court for a first appearance on charges he threatened to bring a gun to school and shoot everyone on the bus.

Sept. 5 -- Insurance provider Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina announces it will sever its relationship with Wayne Memorial Hospital, effective Dec. 5.

Sept. 7 -- After a three-month search drawing more than 800 applications, the search for a new assistant city manager ends with two employees hired, Angel Wright-Lanier and Randy Guthrie.

Sept. 8 -- Eunice Evelyn Greene of Goldsboro turns 111 years old.

Sept. 8 -- Wayne County Public Library announces two new hires, Evan Schmoll as head of children's services and Marty Tschetter as historian librarian.

Sept. 9 -- Wayne Memorial Hospital officials say they have an offer on the table to continue services with Blue Cross Blue Shield but find it "offensive" that the insurance company has only shared "half-truths" with the public.

Sept. 10 -- Wayne Memorial Hospital board of directors approves a rate increase of 5 percent, allowing the non-profit hospital to clear 4.18 cents on every dollar of revenue, which would be put into capital expenses.

Sept. 13 -- Fremont STARS Elementary School is designated a Title I Reward School for the 2013-14 school year, among 174 schools in the state and the only one in Wayne County to make the state's list.

Sept. 15 -- Plans are announced for an auction of items at the popular Southern Belle restaurant in Mount Olive, which closed Sept. 1.

Sept. 15 -- The annual Cherry/O'Berry Christmas parade is canceled, due to recent DOT guidelines for road closures and liability requirements.

Sept. 16 -- Former Fremont Police Officer William Earl Boseman Jr., 24, is arrested on charges of discharging a firearm into an occupied dwelling.

Sept. 17 -- Walnut Creek Village Council members bring concerns to joint meeting with commissioners, including fire protection and emergency communications, protecting property values and promoting the county.

Sept. 18 -- Cyberstalking charges against Mount Olive College track coach Matt Van Lierop by a former track athlete are dismissed at the request of the athlete.

Sept. 20 -- The annual Downtown Goldsboro Development Corp. dinner and awards celebration includes the announcement that Goldsboro had been chosen to receive a $10 million transportation grant for work in the downtown area.

Sept. 23 -- Wayne Early/Middle College High School again distinguishes itself by having a 100 percent graduation rate and is named among 10 school districts and 36 high school across the state to be recognized for the accomplishment.

Sept. 23 -- Officials at AP Exhaust Technologies announce that the company purchased assets of International Muffler Company, the second such acquisition over the past two years.

Sept. 25 -- Concerns over a disease deadly to young pigs prompt the cancellation of the Open Junior Market Hog Show at this year's Wayne Regional Agricultural Fair.

Sept. 26 -- Karis Hawkins, a junior at Wayne Country Day School, is named a semifinalist in the 2014 National Achievement Scholarship program, determined by scores on the 2012 PSAT test.

Sept. 27 -- Sylvina McKinney, a Rosewood High School senior, is crowned 2013 Queen of the Wayne Regional Agricultural Fair.

Sept. 28 -- James Smith, 43, of Pikeville, is struck by a train between Fremont and Pikeville.

Sept. 29 -- The Open Junior Beef Heifer Show at the Wayne Fair draws a lot of familiar friends and family members who had forged bonds and enjoyed the event.

Sept. 30 -- Wayne County commissioners wrap up a series of meetings with the county's seven municipalities, with a joint session with Goldsboro City Council.

Oct. 1 -- After a nearly six-year effort to establish a veterans' cemetery in Wayne County, officials announce that the state is expected to be awarded a $6 million federal grant for the project.

Oct. 4 -- A Wayne County Public Schools bus driver is to be cited for an unsafe movement violation after an early-morning accident on U.S. 70 East that sent six Eastern Wayne High School students to the hospital and injured three others.

Oct. 7 -- Goldsboro City Council votes to rezone the Busco Beach and ATV Park property and sell the property once occupied by the Arts Council of Wayne County.

Oct. 8 -- At a joint meeting of the county commission and school board, Commissioner Joe Daughtery reverses his position on a new K-8 school in Grantham and says he supported building a middle school in that community.

Oct. 9 -- Kerry McDuffie announces his departure as town administrator of Fremont in November to become town manager in Southport.

Oct. 10 -- Junior Josue Mejia, a 16-year-old student at Southern Wayne High School, is charged with making a false report of a weapon of mass destruction on educational property after allegedly scribbling a bomb threat on a bathroom wall at the school.

Oct. 11 -- A former Wayne County Sheriff's deputy, Randy Avon Thompson, 34, is charged with four counts each of obstruction of justice and stealing and altering or destroying evidence.

Oct. 12 -- Shari Stewart celebrates her 28th -- and final -- year as director of Wayne County Fire Princess pageant.

Oct. 14 -- Three bus garage employees under investigation by the Sheriff's Office for larceny of fuel and originally terminated by Wayne County Public Schools go back at work, with school officials saying little about the reinstatement.

Oct. 15 -- Wayne County Public Schools officials say they are investigating why an employee, dressed as a masked gunman holding a toy pistol, entered six sixth-grade classes at Eastern Wayne Middle School as part of an "enrichment lesson."

Oct. 15 -- SPX Transformer Solutions of Dudley is named Wayne County's industry of the year.

Oct. 20 -- Bear Marsh Baptist Church in Mount Olive celebrates its 250 years of history.

Oct. 21 -- Mount Olive College annouces it is considering a new name with pending university status.

Oct. 22 -- Rika, a 7-year-old pitbull, is allegedly shot four times by a Goldsboro police officer, drawing conflicting versions from witnesses.

Oct. 25 -- A $2.275 million contract for a new Steele Memorial Library in Mount Olive is approved by Wayne County commissioners.

Oct. 26 -- A meeting between Wayne Memorial Hospital and Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina restarts the negotiations, but does not result in any changes for the contract deadline coming in December.

Oct. 29 -- A 52-year-old Mulberry Street man, Michael Ray McClary, is struck and killed by a vehicle while walking on Ash St. around 8 a.m.

Nov. 1 -- Timothy Midgette, testifying as a witness for the defense in the murder trial of another man, incriminates himself on the stand is arrested for first-degree murder.

Nov. 2 -- A site for the new $12 million Wayne County Regional Agricultural Center, on Old Smithfield Road across from O'Berry Center, is proposed before the Wayne County Board of Commissioners.

Nov. 4 -- After 55 years in business in Goldsboro, White's Tires on East Ash Street, closes its doors.

Nov. 5 -- A gruesome discovery leads to a Wayne County Sheriff's Office investigation into a double-homicide off of Waller Road near Mount Olive. The victims are identified as Tyrone Beamon Jr., 27, and Shondrea Juanette Millhouse, 21, of Knightdale.

Nov. 6 -- A Goldsboro police officer fatally shoots a dog, Rika, known as a friendly face around a local farmer's market, prompting public outcry.

Nov. 7 -- Write-in campaigns are found to have swayed three municipal elections on Nov. 5 in Pikeville, Seven Springs and Eureka.

Nov. 9 -- Emily Tucker, a 22-year-old sales representative at Belk, is crowned Miss Goldsboro 2014 at the Paramount Theater in Goldsboro.

Nov. 10 -- Scott Wiggins shoots and kills his brother, David Brent Wiggins, after an alcohol-fueled argument in LaGrange.

Nov. 11 -- Wayne County and Seymour Johnson Air Force Base celebrate Veteran's Day with a parade and events in local schools.

Nov. 13 -- The Mount Olive Town Board votes unanimously to support the Wayne County Board of Commissioner's resolution to back Wayne memorial Hospital in it's negotiations with N.C. Blue Cross Blue Shield.

Nov. 14 -- James D'Angelo Raye, of Goldsboro, is charged by Goldsboro police with the murder of Alton Leevon Fields Jr., shot and killed in a Devereaux St. home Oct. 15.

Nov. 17 -- Lester Clinton Jr., 29, is the second man arrested the October murder of Alton Leevon Fields Jr.

Nov. 18 -- The city of Goldsboro issues a $7.5 million settlement and a written apology in a law suit filed in 2010 by Dwayne Dail, the man wrongly convicted in a 1987 rape case in Goldsboro. Dail served 18 years before being exonerated by DNA evidence.

Nov. 19 -- It is reported that the Wayne County Board of Commissioners approved a $426,000 land buy of more than 52 acres for a veterans cemetery.

Nov. 20 -- Wayne County dedicates its first Blue Star Memorial Highway marker located on U.S. Highway 70 E. just passed N. Spence Avenue.

Nov. 21 -- Randy Gallagher, of sunset Beach, arrives at area Walmart locations with six animal friends, including a 300 pound 60-year-old African spurred tortoise named Franklin.

Nov. 22 -- Wayne County and the nation pause 50 years later to remember President John F. Kennedy, who died this day in 1963 in Dallas, Texas.

Nov. 23 -- An 18-month long negotiation between Wayne Memorial Hospital and N.C. Blue Cross Blue Shield reaches the "final offer" stage, threatening to absolve the relationship between the insurance giant and Wayne County's only major hospital.

Nov. 24 -- Goldsboro teenager Gustin Garet Hinnant, 18, is found shot to death in his car on South Audubon Street.

Nov. 25 -- Wilber Shirely and the late Stephen Keith Waller Sr. are inducted into the Wayne County Agricultural Hall of Fame.

Nov. 26 -- The Goldsboro Fire Department investigates three vacant house fires, two with the assistance of the S.B.I., which might have been set intentionally.

Dec. 1 -- A Dodge Ram 2500 with a trailer in tow drives off the U.S. Highway 117 overpass and falls 23 feet onto N.C. Highway 55 in Mount Olive killing the driver, Craig Moore, 30, of Shallotte

Dec. 4 -- Kevin Smith, 19, pleads guilty in Wayne County Superior Court to the Sept. 2012 murder of Kennedy F. McLaurin Jr., 16, and agrees to testify against three co-defendants.

Dec. 5 -- The deadline for Wayne Memorial Hospital and N.C. Blue Cross Blue Shield to agree to a new contract passes without a deal done. Both sides point the finger.

Dec. 6 -- The entire world mourns the passing of former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela, imprisoned 27 years for his role in fighting apartheid.

Dec. 8 -- Terrance James Garner, 45, of Mount Olive is arrested by the Wayne County Sheriff's Office after he allegedly kidnapped his ex-girlfriend at gun point.

Dec. 9 -- The first draft of proposed renovations to Herman Park is offered for public input by the Goldsboro Parks and Recreation Department.

Dec. 10 -- The family of Tyrone Beamon Jr., found murdered with Shondrea Juanette Millhouse, 21, of Knightdale in a Waller Road home near Mount Olive on Nov. 5, up the reward offered for catching his killer to a combined $7,000.

Dec. 13 -- William John Harvey, 35, of Pikeville, is killed in a single-car accident on Antioch Road near Wayne Memorial Drive.

Dec. 14 -- Veterans, active duty military members, dignitaries and the families of the fallen lay wreaths at the graves of Wayne County veterans at Evergreen Cemetery in a Wreaths Across America event orchestrated by Miss Goldsboro 2014 Emily Tucker.

Dec. 15 -- Mount Olive College makes it official -- as of Jan. 1, 2014 the institute of higher learning will become the University of Mount Olive.

Dec. 17 -- Six families displaced in an early morning apartment fire in the Fairview community Dec. 14 are assisted by the Wayne County Chapter of the American Red Cross, The Goldsboro Family Y and the Salvation Army. An outpouring of assistance from the community follows.

Dec. 18 -- Several Wayne County Volunteer Fire Departments are forced to merge in the wake of budget constraint