WILSON’S LOCAL PRINT AND DIGITAL COMMUNITY INSTITUTION SINCE 1896
TOP STORIES
Cannon Hinnant's mother, Bonny Waddell, lights a lantern in honor of her son Saturday as daughter Ava bends down and watches.

Family celebrates Cannon’s life

KENLY — Bonny Waddell reached into a box filled with paper lanterns. As she passed them out, she asked family and friends to write a personal message to her son, 5-year-old Cannon …
Wilson Fire/Rescue crews put away their gear Saturday morning after a fire on the 4100 block of Huntsmoor Lane. Firefighters rescued a man from the home and Wilson County EMS crews took him to the hospital.

Firefighters rescue Wilson man from house fire

A Wilson man is recovering after first responders rescued him from a Saturday morning house fire. Wilson Fire/Rescue crews responded to a fire on the 4100 block of Huntsmoor Lane at 8:26 …
Freeman

Silver Alert for Wilson woman canceled

Authorities canceled a Silver Alert issued for Lashaye Denise Freeman at 4:47 a.m. Saturday, according to the N.C. Center for Missing Persons.  PREVIOUSLY REPORTED The N.C. Center for …
Contractors put the finishing touches on a battery storage unit installed in 2019 at a Wilson Energy substation. The unit helps the city store energy and save money.

Regulators approve cost-saving Wilson Energy initiative

Federal regulators recently sided with the city of Wilson over Duke Energy Progress in a money-saving initiative. “That is a very exciting piece of news and it could really help our rates …
Officials say dozens of Trump-Pence campaign signs were stolen throughout Wilson earlier this week.

Wilson police investigating Trump campaign sign thefts

Dozens of President Donald Trump’s campaign signs were reported stolen in Wilson this week, and police say a surveillance camera captured at least one theft on video.  “This week, …
Local health officials ask county residents to practice the three Ws: Wear a cloth face covering when with other people, remain 6 feet apart, avoiding close contact, and wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer.

Wilson County reports 28 new COVID-19 cases

Wilson County reported 28 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases Friday. Patients include a Spring Arbor resident and a facility staff member at Longleaf Neuro-Medical Treatment Center and Wilson Pines …
Elizabeth Robinson, senior director of government relations for the N.C. Retail Merchants Association, looks back at the milestones at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic during a Sept. 22 lunch at the Wilson Chamber of Commerce.

Retail lobbyist: Pandemic 'like never-ending hurricane' for businesses

Since March, business owners have been challenged to evolve with the ever-changing pandemic environment.  “Pharmacies and grocery stores couldn’t keep their shelves stocked …
U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-Wilson, left, faces Republican congressional candidate Sandy Smith of Winterville in November's general election.

Pandemic a big issue in House race: Smith challenging Butterfield in 1st Congressional District

Veteran Rep. G.K. Butterfield will face off against Republican newcomer Sandy Smith at the polls Nov. 3 to represent U.S. House District 1. The Wilson Times sent five questions to both candidates …
Randolph Sessoms, who served as Wilson County Schools' first African American superintendent, is pictured at his home near the Buckhorn community.
THE BLACK EXPERIENCE

Leveling the playing field in education: Sessoms reflects on career in leadership

As the youngest of nine children in a rural Wilson County tenant farming family, Randolph Sessoms grew up to be Wilson County Schools’ first African American superintendent. “We grew …

Wilson man dies in single-car wreck

SARATOGA — Investigators say speed and alcohol were factors in a single-car wreck that claimed a Wilson man’s life Monday night. Ronnie Finch, 42, of Wilson, died after the 8:36 p.m. …
Students visit Wells Elementary School to pick up lunches during remote learning earlier this year. The school board will discuss reentry for local students next week. Drew C. Wilson | Times file photo
Wilson County Schools

School board to discuss reentry plans next week

The Wilson County Board of Education decided Monday to discuss possible reentry plans for Wilson County Schools children in a special meeting Wednesday. Superintendent Lane Mills commented on Gov. …
Members of the Wilson County Board of Commissioners and the Wilson County Board of Education look at a drop off in a portion of the track oval at Hunt High School in 2019. Drew C. Wilson | Times
Wilson County Schools

School board to reconsider track renovations

The Wilson County Board of Education has called a special meeting to discuss track and field improvements at Hunt and Beddingfield high schools. The board voted 5-1 on Sept. 14 to have existing …
Hudson

Defendant in Wilson man’s killing ruled insane; Tyrique Hudson’s legacy lives on through scholarship

A Maryland judge ruled Tuesday that a man who gunned down a Wilson Early College Academy graduate inside the young man’s apartment stairwell in April 2019 was insane at the time of the …
Jennifer Kennedy snuggles with her dog Barkley, a Maggie Society rescue. Barkley's story is shared in a "Chicken Soup for the Soul" book.

‘Chicken Soup’ story features Wilson rescue dog

One of Wilson’s former four-legged residents was featured in the latest installment of the bestselling “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series. Author Jennifer Kennedy adopted Barkley, a …
Pettit

Woman faces accessory charge in child's murder

Police have arrested a Wilson woman on an accessory charge in connection with 5-year-old Cannon Hinnant’s murder.  Aolani Takemi Marie Pettit, 21, was arrested Tuesday on a felony …

2 face charges in Wilson alcohol enforcement raids

Two Wilson men were arrested after local and state authorities raided homes in illegal gun, drug and alcohol investigations. N.C. Alcohol Law Enforcement, the Wilson Police Department and the …
The Wilson City Council voted Monday not to allow a restaurant on Lot 2 of this planned development on the 2900 block of Raleigh Road Parkway.  Planning board members approved the proposal in August, but the final decision rested with the council.

Wilson City Council rejects rezoning request for new restaurant

In a 6-1 vote, the Wilson City Council on Monday denied a second restaurant on the 2900 block of Raleigh Road Parkway. “I would be in favor of the plan we have and continuing the momentum of …
Dante Pittman listens to Ruth Baines, curator at the Oliver Nestus Freeman Round House Museum, which celebrates African American history in Wilson County.
THE BLACK EXPERIENCE

Black history often untold: Wilson native says museum helps fill educational gaps

Since moving back home to Wilson, Dante Pittman has visited the Oliver Nestus Freeman Round House Museum several times. “I am always blown away when I walk in and read,” Pittman said. The …
ELECTION 2020 CENTRAL

VIDEO

Wilson Christian's Ethan Mitchell hurdles a prone Daniel Lewis of Fuquay-Varina Hilltop Christian during Monday's match at Wilson Christian. Mitchell had a second-half goal in WCA's 6-1 victory.

Patience guides WCA to win in battle of Chargers

Three minutes into the second half Monday night, Wilson Christian junior Nestor Castro dribbled in the direction of the end line as the Chargers returned to North Carolina Christian School …

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LOCAL HEADLINES

Pet of the week: Friendly pup Coral loves to run, jump and play

Weathercast: Ahead of cold front, weekend should be mostly dry

Nurse practitioner joins Wilson Physician Services

Students complete BB&T Emerging Leaders program

9-year-old shoots 2-year-old in head, Clayton police say

Community briefs: Church to hold prayer walk

Time running out to join census count: Wilson’s response rate lower than the state’s

County reports 11 new COVID-19 cases: 3 deaths reported this week

God, how long?

Make it a great day

2 more COVID-19-related deaths reported in Wilson County

Health department offers vaccine clinic Saturday

Wilson County reports 47th COVID-19-related death

Cooper announces $40M in small business relief; state launches COVID-19 exposure app

Weathercast: Sunny skies, mild temps in store this week

Bailey cancels Christmas parade due to COVID-19 concerns

Statewide litter cleanup canceled due to COVID-19

Hundreds isolated at home with coronavirus; Nash County's death toll climbs to 40

Pinetops improves fire protection rating

Wesley Shelter weathers pandemic: Agency adapts to safety guidelines, effects on victims

Cannon Hinnant's family plans Saturday celebration of life in Kenly

Lalor Smith sworn in as Wilson Community College trustee

Wilson County reports 55 new COVID-19 cases since Friday

New downtown salon opening amid COVID-19

Kenly receives 15 applications for town manager

Sallie B. Howard School to continue remote instruction through year's end

Wilson council debates rezoning requests for planned restaurant, 60 new homes

Wilson County reports 28 new COVID-19 cases

Pet of the week: Siamese kitten loves attention and is constantly purring

Weathercast: Cooler temps mark first week of fall

#ICYMI - IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Daniel Franklin Heath, 33, appears in Wilson County District Court on May 10, 2019. Heath, who pleaded guilty to a child pornography charge in October, was sentenced to roughly 11 years in federal prison on Friday.

Former Wilson pastor sentenced in child porn case

A former Wilson pastor who pleaded guilty to coercing an underage Texas girl into creating child pornography will spend roughly a decade in federal prison.  U.S. District Judge Sean D. Jordan …
Arthur Rogers looks at the Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park from properties on South Street he and AE Property partner Josh Hawn purchased recently.

Developer plans space for downtown Wilson restaurant

Work is underway to transform 217 South St. into Casita Brewing Co., but the developer said work will begin soon to prepare the adjacent properties for at least one restaurant. “We’ll do a …
Louretha Virginia Renfrow Johnson looks over genealogical charts detailing the lineage of Rocky Branch United Church of Christ members.

Church celebrates 150th anniversary

Five years after the Civil War ended, a handful of former slaves established a worship place under a “bush shelter” near a rocky stream in western Wilson County. Members of Rocky Branch United …
Equipment ruined by a July 22 fire at Custom Quality Packers near Bailey sits in the sun Friday afternoon.

Destroyed hog plant had slaughter violations: PETA seeks federal prosecution

BAILEY — A meatpacking plant destroyed in a fire late last month received two federal suspensions this year and had drawn the ire of an international animal rights group. Custom Quality …
Evan's Snack Cabinet owner Evan Tucker, 12, checks in with Chick-N-Stix owner BetiJo Ballin, who's teamed up with the young entreprenuer to sell his gourmet popcorn and candied nuts at her Wilson restaurant.

12-year-old’s love of snacks turns into business

Family and friends know Evan Tucker as the “snack monster.” “I love snacks,” the 12-year-old said. With a little help from his parents, Tasharra and Nick Tucker, the young …
WEATHERCAST

Albert Thomas Jr.

Weathercast: Ahead of cold front, weekend should be mostly dry

The Wilson Times area appears set for a mostly dry, seasonable weekend. High pressure is expected to push out the remnants of Storm Beta on Saturday morning. That means early morning fog, drizzle …

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COVID-19 Map
Most recent videos:
Knights dictate to Chargers in 3-0 victory
For the second straight match to open 2020, an energy shift for the Greenfield School varsity boys soccer team in the second half made … Read More
Defense allows Knights to overcome slow start in 5-0 opening victory
With seniors anchoring the back line of the defense for the Greenfield School varsity boys soccer team, the defending North Carolina … Read More
Man injured in motorcycle wreck
BLACK CREEK — A Rocky Mount man was taken to the hospital Tuesday after being thrown from his motorcycle on Interstate … Read More
Motorcyclists offer support to Cannon Hinnant’s family
As Belle Waddell waited Saturday, she looked up at the sky.  “I can look up there in those clouds, and I know he’s riding … Read More
Lady Chargers can’t crack Liberty Christian defense, falter in 4 sets
There’s something to be said about a defense that simply won’t permit a rally to end. With each ball returned over the net, the … Read More
RESTORATION NEWSMEDIA
THE ENTERPRISE
Murder convict in 1994 shooting death set to receive parole

A convicted killer serving a life sentence in prison will be a free man in three years. A jury convicted Benjamin Rowen Williams of first-degree murder in the 1994 shooting death of Kenneth L. …

Nash woman dies in house fire

Troopers: Tesla on ‘autopilot’ strikes Nash deputy’s car

Crime in Spring Hope mostly from out-of-towners

Nash charts 4 coronavirus deaths; county's death toll rises to 22

JOHNSTONIAN NEWS
School board abandons in-person learning for grades K-5

SMITHFIELD — A divided Johnston County Board of Education on Thursday reversed its decision to have K-5 students come to school for in-person learning. Citing safety concerns, Superintendent …

Coaches, band directors to receive supplements

Treatment plant moving forward but faces hurdles

Johnstonians don’t mind getting counted, data shows

Council OKs Powhatan Road rezoning 3-2

FUN STUFF
COLUMN
Control nature? We wish

I contacted a friend — and former Wilson resident — now living in Oregon last week to ask how he’s faring amid the wildfires near his Oregon home.  Wildfires are burning in …

LIFE
So many ways to use those summer tomatoes

My husband and I planted lots of tomatoes this year: cherry, Roma and big old slicing tomatoes. We grew some of the Cherokee Purple variety from seed and others from plants we purchased at a local …

SPORTS
College Sports
Duke turnovers pave way for loss at Virginia

Duke’s promising season-opening loss to Notre Dame now seems like it was played in an alternative universe. In a COVID-19 Twilight Zone college football season, that’s not unusual, but it …

Generous ECU offense doesn’t keep pace with No. 13 UCF

Execution woes doom Wolfpack in loss to Hokies

Defense ahead of the offense early in ACC season

Notre Dame-Wake Forest postponed after Irish positive tests

School Sports
A little mud on the uniform never hurt anybody

Years ago, starting when I was about 9 years old, I took piano lessons for five years. Once a week, I would go to my piano teacher’s house after school and take a lesson for an hour. As much as …

McDaniel aces Wedgewood No. 10

Low pressure makes the deer eat

‘06 Explosion settles for tie in 1st game back from long layoff

Rediscovering his focus: Herring lights up future home course with twin 64s