News Roundup

Emergency response officials and personnel at the state and local level deserve special recognition this week for their handling of the extremely dangerous fire at a fertilizer production facility in Winston-Salem.  As the Winston-Salem Journal reports, a massive fire broke out at the Winston Weaver fertilizer plant on Monday night, prompting emergency responders to go door-to-door to warn residents within one mile of the site to evacuate their homes because of the possibility that roughly 600 tons of ammonium nitrate could explode and devastate the surrounding area.  The threat of an explosion was diminishing at the time of writing.  Keep reading for more news.

Rewards.  WITN reports that the Duplin County Sheriff’s Office is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of any person responsible for setting fire to a home outside of Beulaville late last month.  A person was asleep inside the home, which has been in their family for 60 years, at the time the fire was set.

The Greensboro News & Record reports that Crime Stoppers is offering a $5,000 reward for information related to a shooting in Greensboro on Tuesday that claimed the life of 14-year-old Jakaylen Chambers.  Information about how to contact Crime Stoppers is available at the News & Record link.

Jail Administration.  The Mountaineer reports that Cpt. Chris Shell of the Haywood County Sheriff’s Office was one of 41 North Carolina jail administrators who recently graduated from the Jail Administrators’ Institute of Leadership, a new program developed and sponsored by the North Carolina Sheriff’s Association.  The training involved two week-long sessions that occurred over a six-month time period.

Clemmons.  The Richmond County Daily Journal kicked off its third annual Black History Month series honoring prominent Black members of the local community with a tribute to James “Clem” Clemmons who was elected sheriff in 2011 and passed away in August of last year.  Among many accomplishments over the course of a long career, Clemmons served as the president of the North Carolina Sheriff’s Association, as a commissioner on the President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice, and on the Governor’s Task Force for Racial Equity in Criminal Justice.

Catalytic Conversion.  WPDE reports that former Chadbourn Police Chief Anthony Spivey recently was arrested on suspicion of stealing catalytic converters from vehicles at a body shop in Tabor City where he has been working.  In 2021, Spivey was charged with more than 80 felonies ranging from embezzling state property to drug trafficking.  He currently is awaiting trial on the 2021 charges.  Catalytic converter theft has been a major problem in the state and the General Assembly recently amended the relevant larceny statute to create a presumption that a person in possession of a catalytic converter has stolen it.

Brave Citizen.  As WLOS reports, the Marion Police Department posted a message of thanks on its Facebook page to a brave citizen who came upon a fiery crash involving Officer Breanna Toney and was able to force open the door of Toney’s patrol car and remove her from the burning vehicle.  Toney is hospitalized and expected to make a full recovery.  A link to a Go Fund Me page to support Officer Toney and her family during her recovery is available on the Marion Police Department Facebook page.