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These adjacent townships share the county of residence, Johnston County; they share the prime North Carolina location in the Piedmont Crescent Area; they share good soil and desirable climate; they share an enviable unemployment rate and excellent per-capita income. Why shouldn’t they share a Chamber of Commerce? The Smithfield-Selma Chamber of Commerce shows what benefits cooperation can bring.
Located on I-95 near the I-40 intersection, halfway between New York and Florida, Selma and Smithfield’s abundant, inexpensive lodging and restaurants have made a mark on the tourist industry. This area is part of North Carolina’s Triangle Region, and the economy is diversified and employment is upscale.
Selma’s heritage is celebrated annually in October by a “Railroad Days” festival. Selma actually began as a festival in 1867. The North Carolina Railroad had recently established a line through the area, and a barbecue and dance was held in order to sell lots in the hopes of establishing a community here. The sale of lots was boosted by a barbecue and dance held for that purpose. Historians called the original party “a glowing success” and contemporary coverage raves over the current celebrations. In 1886, a second line was built through Selma. The historic Selma Union Depot was built in 1924. Temporarily used as a museum, the station was restored and renovated in 2002. It now serves Amtrak’s daily Carolinian between New York City and Charlotte, and Amtrak’s daily Palmetto between New York City and Florida, as well as CSX and Norfolk Southern companies, and passenger trains operated by the State of North Carolina.
Atkinson’s Milling Co. (built in 1757), a water-powered gristmill has been in continuous operation for over 240 years.
In Selma, there is an obvious respect for useful objects, which introduces Selma’s world-class shopping in their antique shops and malls. Selma’s uptown specialty shops are locally owned and operated. (Don’t miss the drugstore with its original and operating soda fountain.) Of course, if shopping is your recreation, you will also want to visit the Carolina Premium Outlets for unprecedented bargain shopping.
Neighborhoods are Victorian. There is a traditional variety show in the historic Rudy Theatre: American Music Jubilee variety show in the venerable Rudy Theatre.
Smithfield has its own way of doing business and keeping its downtown intact and up-to-date. Downtown property owners help fund economic development. Appropriate tenants are screened to encourage shops and services that add to downtown vitality. Smithfield’s downtown area has a 93-percent occupancy rate.
Smithfield boasts six nearby golf courses, easy access to the best in sports and recreation as well as historical and cultural offerings, but is best known for a story of devotion and loyalty that is almost unmatched in today’s world. Johnston County is the birthplace of Ava Gardner and Smithfield is the home of the Ava Gardner Museum. This extensive collection of artifacts representing her life and career was predominately assembled by one man, Tom Banks, who (at age 12) was kissed on the cheek by Ms Gardner. She was enrolled in secretarial school in Wilson, NC at the time (1939). Dr. Banks, later aided by his wife, even bought the house where Ava lived from age 2 to 13, for his museum. In 1989, Dr. Banks suffered a stroke while working at the Museum and died; Ms Gardner died five months later. Mrs. Banks donated the Ava Gardner Collection to Smithfield.
Ava Gardner is buried in The Town of Smithfield. “Grabtown Girl” is a biography of Ms. Gardner’s childhood in rural “Grabtown,” or Smithfield, NC.
Charming small-town living in the heart of beautiful North Carolina’s recreational Eden is topped off with an economy that is the envy of much of America. Quiet, safe, historic neighborhoods, excellent schools and health care, and a strong sense of community are striking here in the heart of Johnston County. Proximity to the world-renowned Research Triangle Park, the largest planned research park in the United States, has brought some of the largest, best-known corporate names to Johnston County. Andrew, Bayer, Caterpillar, Eaton, Novo Nordisk, and ThyssenKrupp Precision Forge, now account for over $400 million in payroll annually.
Selma utilizes the Johnston County Courthouse, located at 207 E Johnston St., Smithfield, NC 27577. Domestic issues such as divorce, child support, custody and visitation, and division of the marital property. are considered civil issues and all actions relating to family issues are handled in the District Court division.
Cases assigned to Family Court include juvenile delinquency charges; neglect and abuse charges; termination of parental rights and adoptions; domestic violence; child custody and visitation rights; divorce and related financial issues like child support, alimony, or equitable distribution of property; abortion consent waivers, paternity; involuntary commitments and guardianships.
Judges who hear domestic cases can provide referrals to mediators, counselors, or classes that may help families reach their own resolutions without having a judge make the decision for them. The judge becomes the last resort if there is no resolution. All issues involving one family are assigned to one judge, and a case manager helps families negotiate their way through the system. This is beneficial for families dealing with difficult issues such as child custody and visitation rights; divorce, child support, and alimony. The case manager also assures that cases comply with the Family Court time standards for disposing of the case.
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